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11 December 2023

Gulf renewable energy body proposed

By Nadim Kawach

Abu Dhabi yesterday proposed the creation of a Gulf renewable energy body to carry out joint ventures in this field and oversee policies to develop this source.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) said the development of renewable energy resources in the region is the key for sustainable growth on the grounds other energy sources are delectable.

In a study coinciding with the energy summit, Added said the establishment of joint projects in renewable energy between the UAE and the other GCC members would open "massive horizons of co-operation in energy, water desalination and joint power generation" given the UAE's pioneering role in such a field.

"There is a need now to create a joint GCC renewable energy agency to chart a course of action in co-operation with other member states in this field," it said.

"The agency's functions should cover identification of renewable sources and evaluation of such sources for use in development plans within the GCC's overall energy policies. The agency should also conduct studies and research with the purpose of exploiting renewable energy resources in collaboration with scientific institutions in the UAE and other countries," the study said.

"Its functions should also involve identification of the fields where renewable energy sources should be used instead of conventional energy sources as per circumstances of each member. The agency should also devise training programmes for the use of renewable energy and carry out joint projects in the fields of production and utilisation of renewable energy."

Added said the UAE needs to step up efforts to utilise renewable energy sources to meet a rapid growth in its power consumption because of a steady expansion in most of its economic sectors.

Its figures showed oil and gas consumption in the UAE grew by as high as eight per cent annually during 2000-2008, with gas demand soaring from 31 billion cubic metres to 58 billion cubic metres. Oil consumption surged from 255,000 barrels per day to 467,000 bpd in the same period.

Power consumption peaked at 15,000 megawatt in 2008 and is projected to jump to 30,000 megawatt in 2015 and 40,000 megawatt in 2020. It estimated investments needed in projects to expand power generation in the UAE at $1 billion a year in the next decade. "Estimates show gas available for power generation will be enough for only 20,000-25,000 megawatt. Despite efforts to use other source such as solar energy, this will ensure only six to seven per cent of the power needs. That is why the UAE has turned to nuclear energy to meet its growing consumption," it said.


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