UAE Powering Net Zero Through Nuclear Energy

UAE Powering Net Zero Through Nuclear Energy

/ News & Interviews / Tuesday, 10 May 2022 13:24

During his keynote speech at the ongoing World Utility Congress in Abu Dhabi, His Excellency (H.E.), Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), highlighted the UAE’s proactive investment in proven clean energy and mentioned that within a decade, solar and peaceful nuclear energy have delivered a transformation of the UAE’s energy sector, ensuring the country’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

Many challenges and opportunities for the utilities sector and the solutions available today were identified by H.E Al Hammadi and he stated that the energy industry needs to power the world under a new and more complex framework of energy security. He also pointed out that the industry needs to produce power and more sustainably whilst meeting climate change commitments and preserving natural resources, and continue enabling economic growth, progress, and prosperity for the world.

H.E. Al Hammadi explained that for many years the UAE leadership has focused on sustainability, energy security, and energy diversification. With the commercial operation of two of the four Units at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, ENEC is delivering a climate solution today that enables rapid, large-scale decarbonization alongside growth and continues to develop nuclear technology in the UAE as a catalyst for further innovation in the clean energy transition. 

“The second of our four reactors at the Barakah Plant entered commercial operations in March this year. Barakah is now generating 2.8 gigawatts of electricity, making it the largest source of clean electricity in the country. With all four reactors online, nuclear energy will meet 25% of the UAE’s electricity demand. It has also delivered large-scale decarbonization, and when fully operational, the plant will prevent around 22.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year,” said H.E. Al Hammadi.

A recent research by S&P Global shows that the Barakah Plant will reduce gas consumption by around 1,000 million cubic feet per day or 205,000 barrels of oil per day in equivalence. This is a financial saving of almost $7.4 billion per annum in terms of oil barrels. The plant saves precious natural gas resources to allow the UAE to accelerate its path to becoming a net LNG exporter by 2030.

“As a contributor to progress, we have created an industry that employs thousands of people in just a decade. We have the expertise and knowledge in the civilian nuclear industry and a local nuclear industry supply chain worth billions of dirhams. But the Barakah Plant and its immediate economic benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond Barakah is the delivery of the wider UAE peaceful nuclear energy program. The program has set forward the need to invest in technologies that can be leveraged to extract greater value and opportunity towards our Net Zero ambitions,” H.E. Al Hammadi added.

H.E. Al Hammadi also spoke at the Nuclear Leadership Forum where he highlighted that 8 of 10 of the world’s most sustainable nations already include nuclear in their portfolios.

H.E Al Hammadi explained that UAE companies are eagerly buying clean energy certificates as part of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Certification scheme to demonstrate proof of the clean electricity they use, which has been produced at the Barakah Plant and Abu Dhabi’s solar facilities to access the $30 trillion ESG market. Looking forward to future technologies, H.E Al Hammadi stated that ENEC  looking into investments in new, small modular reactors (SMRs), as well as clean hydrogen to continue driving the UAE’s path to Net Zero.

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