Middle East & North Africa

Top 10 priority areas for renewable energy policymakers announced

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DUBAI, Jun 3 2018 (WAM) - The UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry, MOEI, and Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF, EWS-WWF, today released a joint report highlighting which innovative policies, incentives, and technologies could accelerate the UAE’s progress towards its target of 44 percent renewable energy capacity by 2050.

The report is an output of EWS-WWF’s renewable energy project, which is supported by The Sustainable City.

Entitled ‘Enabling the UAE’s Energy Transition: Top Ten Priority Areas for Renewable Energy Policymakers,’ the report provides decision makers across the UAE with science-based, stakeholder-driven recommendations to achieve the goals of the UAE National Energy Plan 2050. Building on the current efforts of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the report highlights that it is key for the UAE to continue developing an effective renewable energy policy framework, with a complementary target and strategy for reduction of the country’s carbon emissions.

Renewable energy is a significant part of the solution and we applaud the UAE leadership’s readiness to enable the nation’s energy transition
Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General, EWS-WWF

Implementing an energy plan guided by the report’s recommendations will contribute to energy security, emissions reductions, economic growth, and job creation. The report has been developed with support from property service solutions provider, Khidmah, which is also an EWS-WWF Platinum Partner of the Sustainable Partnership Programme.

Fatima Al Foora Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Electricity and Future Energy at the Ministry, said, “The UAE’s leadership is committed to renewable energy and, with the UAE National Energy Plan 2050, has provided a visionary strategy that has the potential to unlock a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits.

The recommendations in this new report highlight innovative pathways for accelerated progress towards our renewable energy target. The proposed measures are both informed by international best practices and rooted in the UAE’s local context, building on our nation’s position as a leading supporter of low-carbon growth.”

Commenting on the report, Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director-General of EWS-WWF, said, “Globally, climate change is the defining issue of our time and we need to act while we still have a window of opportunity. Renewable energy is a significant part of the solution and we applaud the UAE leadership’s readiness to enable the nation’s energy transition.”

“There is still a lot of untapped potential for accelerated uptake of renewable energy – from large-scale utility plants down to solar rooftops. We encourage key renewable energy policymakers to work together to develop innovative green finance mechanisms, promote competition amongst emerging technologies, and effectively use and develop electricity networks,” she added.

The MOEI is actively engaging with stakeholders to put some of these recommendations into action through a variety of programmes and initiatives. This includes the Ministry’s strategic partnership with EWS-WWF, which runs until 2020 and was inspired by the Future Energy Lab 2017, where His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved and launched the UAE National Energy Plan 2050.

The Sustainable City, by Diamond Developers, represents the voice of the private sector in this report. Its rooftop solar PV installations serve as a case study advancing Net Zero developments in the region. The Sustainable City is a low-carbon residential and mixed-use community in Dubai that aims to become the region’s first operational net zero development – a unique challenge in the harsh climate of the UAE.

Commenting on The Sustainable City’s use of renewable energy in Phase 1, Faris Saeed, the CEO of Diamond Developers, said “With 6.4 MWp of grid-connected solar panels on the rooftops of our villas and parking areas, we are already able to achieve and exceed Net-Zero during winter months. Our experience showcases the role the private sector must play in low-carbon development and how rooftop solar PV is already commercially attractive in the UAE. We are extremely happy with the results so far and look forward to the completion of Phase 2, which will be 100 per cent solar powered using high efficiency modules.”

Jahed Rahman, Managing Director of Khidmah, said, “With the development of a policy framework for increased renewable energy in the UAE, individuals, corporations, and government entities will be able to make an active contribution to turning the country’s energy ambitions into a sustainable reality.”

Abdullatif concluded, “EWS-WWF is committed to supporting the UAE’s progress towards a low-carbon future. With renewable energy, we already have the solutions, now it is a matter of putting them into action”.

The report, Enabling the UAE’s Energy Transition: Top Ten Priority Areas for Renewable Energy Policymakers, represents a stepping-stone and is intended as the beginning of a cascade of events leading to the achievement of the UAE’s energy and sustainability goals.

WAM/Nour Salman

 
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