H.E Eng. Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for Energy and Petroleum Affairs, confirmed that the UAE continues its efforts to achieve the objectives of the next fifty years in the sustainability of the energy sector, diversifying its sources and advancing the transition to clean ones. Moreover, the state has focused during the past fifty years of the union's life on economic diversification as a supreme objective for many policies and programs, including the energy sector.
His Excellency added, during his opening speech of the Clean Energy Summit held as part of the activities of ADSW: The UAE was at the forefront of countries seeking to shift towards clean energy and positive impact on climate action, so it was among the first to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement, and its full commitment to the UNFCCC, which confirms its keenness on a future carbon-neutral economy.
His Excellency said: "During the previous period, we have worked diligently within the framework of the wise leadership's message aimed at strengthening the energy sector, especially the clean ones, by uniting efforts and capabilities, with the aim of consolidating the country's position and enabling sustainable growth in the sector. Today, we are moving forward with confidence for more achievements for the next fifty years by adhering to the objectives of the National Energy Strategy 2050, through solar energy projects, our national program for peaceful nuclear energy, waste-to-energy projects, and other aspirational projects that support the transition towards clean and sustainable energy.”
His Excellency explained that the UAE aims to reach a carbon-free future, by strengthening the position of leading technologies, developing and employing modern technology to serve the energy sector, in addition to pursuing the hard work in order to develop clean energy projects that will play a key role in diversifying energy sources in the country and reducing the carbon footprint , including waste-to-energy projects and carbon dioxide capture, to be the first country in the region to apply carbon capture, storage and use technology on an industrial scale, and peaceful nuclear energy, in addition to solar power plants.
His Excellency also pointed out that the availability of solar energy resources, vast land, financing and investment are among the largest contributors to the competitive prices of solar energy in the UAE, and that these projects go side to side with peaceful nuclear energy projects and waste-to-energy conversion, which is a major and important step for the sustainability, diversity and security of energy for the upcoming decades, stressing that the country holds natural resources, technological expertise and political stability supported by policies and legislation, including the National Energy Strategy 2050, which the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is reviewing to cover the expansion of renewable energy and the implementation of new projects in areas such as hydrogen energy, solar energy, hydroelectric energy and waste-to-energy conversion, in addition to the study of the solutions that can be followed regarding the traditional methods of producing electricity to discuss the possibility of adopting carbon dioxide capture in parallel with the study of the economic cost, in addition to launching a road map to achieve leadership in the field of hydrogen, which is a major driver that contributes to providing future solutions to the challenges of global climate change, thanks to which the country becomes a major player in the global hydrogen supply chain.
His Excellency also mentioned: "Within the framework of the UAE's endeavor to enhance national efforts in the field of demand management and rationalization of consumption, and increase energy efficiency in a way that contributes to preserving natural resources and environmental sustainability. The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has launched the National Water and Energy Demand Management Program, which aims, in the energy axis, to launch initiatives to reduce consumption and energy demand in the three energy-consuming sectors by 40% by 2050, and to raise the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix produced in the country to 50%.
Furthermore, he explained that the UAE has a clear commitment to align its efforts with the objectives of sustainable development, and this is evident through its adoption of a number of initiatives and plans such as the UAE Centennial 2071, the vision of "We the UAE 2031", the National Energy Strategy 2050, the UAE Net Zero 2050 and others. In line with the sixth objective of the sustainable development objectives, the Ministry of Energy and Industry launched the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036, which mainly aims to develop a road map to achieve water security, and ensure the sustainability and continuity of access to water during natural and severe emergency conditions, in addition to contributing to the prosperity of society and the growth of the national economy. Additionally, in order to contribute effectively to the seventh objective, the UAE launched its Energy Strategy 2050, which is the first unified energy plan in the country that achieves a balance between the two aspects of production, consumption, and global environmental obligations.