WAM Report: UAE Leads On Global Climate Action Through Green Economy Plans
DUBAI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 22nd Jun, 2021) The UAE attaches great importance to protecting the environment in its development policy, an approach it has adopted since 2012 through the 'UAE Green Growth Strategy', to transform its economy into a green economy by utilising modern technologies, knowledge, and innovation.
The green and digital economy will become the starting point for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE has announced.
The leadership considers the green economy as a tool to control economic growth and direct it towards sustainable development. It also focuses on protecting the environment, climate, natural resources and improving the quality of life. The UAE has won international leadership positions in the competitiveness indicators of the energy sector in general, and clean energy in particular, after seven international references agreed to classify it among the top 10 countries in the world with 18 sector-specific indicators in 2020.
Despite the major challenges and economic slowdown worldwide in 2020, renewable energy has surfaced as a real alternative that heralds a better future.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), stated that production capacity from renewable energy reached record levels surpassing past amounts and estimates. Some 260 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy were added globally, making around a 50 percent increase compared to the amount added in 2019. The renewable energy share has significantly increased for the second consecutive year, making 80 percent of the total generation capacity in the past year, with solar and wind accounting for 91 percent of new renewables.
The UAE is among leading countries in adopting effective policies, such as the economic diversity policy which focuses on a green economy and diversifying energy sources. This is through capacity-building in clean and renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency, transport, and sustainable urban planning. It is also at the forefront of regional countries in climate change policies since the Paris Agreement. In the beginning, it was committed to increasing its clean energy capacity to 24 percent by 2021. Later, this increased to 50 percent by 2050.
The UAE adopts and shares an inspiring vision with the rest of the countries worldwide, working to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, and mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming. To achieve this, several Federal and national strategies have been launched to consolidate sustainable development and shift to clean energy.
Currently, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are making considerable advances in the generation and development of clean energy sources, mainly solar power. Recently, the world’s biggest solar photovoltaic plant of 1,177MW at Sweihan in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was commissioned on an Independent Power Producer (IPP) basis.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is currently implementing the fourth and fifth phases of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This will be the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030. Combining CSP and photovoltaic technology based on the IPP model, the fourth phase is the largest single-site CSP project in the world. The 950MW project has the world's tallest solar power tower measuring 262.44 metres in height and the largest thermal storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, generating power around the clock.
"His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2016. We are striving to achieve this transition through the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50 percent by 2050, and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide 75 percent of Dubai's total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
DEWA's efforts have resulted in a huge reduction of carbon emissions in Dubai,''said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
Carbon emissions in Dubai were reduced by 22 percent in 2019, two years ahead of the target set by the Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce it by 16 percent by 2021. Clean energy capacity in Dubai has reached nine percent of the energy mix in 2020, surpassing the target of Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to provide seven percent of Dubai's total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2020," he added.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand for hydrogen as a power source has grown threefold in the past few decades, and its global production is estimated at 70 million metric tonnes annually. As a result, the costs of producing hydrogen are projected to fall by 64 percent by 2040. The country has already started pilot projects to position itself in the global hydrogen market.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) set up the Green Hydrogen project, the first solar-powered green hydrogen production facility in the middle East and North Africa. Located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the plant is built to accommodate future applications and test platforms for the different uses of hydrogen, including potential mobility and industrial uses.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) partnered with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Khalifa University for Science and Technology, Siemens, and Marubeni Corporation, in an initiative to support the development of Abu Dhabi's green hydrogen economy. They will establish a demonstration plant at Masdar City to explore the development of green hydrogen, sustainable fuels and e-kerosene production for transport, shipping, and aviation.
DEWA is implementing a hydroelectric power station in Hatta, the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf. It will generate electricity from a reservoir at Hatta Dam, delivering production capacity of around 250MW, with a storage capacity of 1,500MW and a life span of 80 years.
As part of DEWA's space programme, Space-D will build DEWA's capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks. The programme will take advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as the internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies. The project features the launch of the main satellite equipped with the latest imaging and satellite communication technologies, which will take place in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai. The performance and efficiency of the photovoltaic solar panels at the solar park will be monitored using special cameras on the main satellite, which will also help study the impact of weather and climate change on energy infrastructure and supply.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) will host the MENA Climate Week 2022 from 23rd March, 2022, on the side-lines of Expo 2020 Dubai. The first-of-its-kind in the Middle East and North Africa, the event intends to increase the momentum of climate action in the region.
The MENA Climate Week 2022 will convene leaders from the public and private sectors and society to discuss the serious threat of climate change, and collaborate on swift, bold actions to address this challenge.