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The Energy of the next 50... Gas means safety and the Nuclear Energy is an assurance

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

The UAE will enter the next 50 years with a clear strategy for the future “energy”, which is based on long-established principles adopted by the country for decades, namely: Diversification that is a national orientation, sustainability as the basis of policies and projects, and the adoption of the latest technologies, on top of which the Artificial Intelligence which is a main goal; while plans to reduce production costs continue, reducing carbon levels, raising the efficiency of transport and distribution networks, and supporting the consumption rationalization programs.

The UAE peaceful nuclear program proceeds with confidence and steadfastness to achieve its major goals to integrate its results with the fruits of optimal use of traditional energy resources "oil and gas". Moreover, the revenues of the electrical interconnection projects with areas neighboring to the "Cooperation Countries", and the returns of interest in the petrochemical industry to maximize the benefit from the growing demand for its products .

- H.E Matar Al-Neyadi telling “Al-Ittihad” newspapers: The consumer of today's electricity will produce it tomorrow

H.E Dr. Matar Al-Neyadi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, stressed that the energy sector is one of the most developed, transformed and dependent on modern technologies and that the transformation has started in different regions of the world and is still ongoing. Such transformation will result in turning the consumer into a producer, indicating that this transformation opens bigger doors to benefit from the Artificial Intelligence to manage transportation networks and achieve the self-sufficiency of homeowners from electricity and water, which requires the speedy preparation of the necessary legislation to enable this transformation.

He pointed out in his statements to the newspaper that the electricity sector in UAE has started installing solar panels on buildings in some areas to produce electricity. He explained also that the production of water from moisture or air would be less costly and easier to operate during the next stage.  Moreover, he added that the coming period will witness an increase in the decoupling of water production from electricity production to achieve lower operating costs, especially in winter.

H.E Al-Neyadi stressed that despite the progress made and the great momentum in renewable energy, the nuclear energy and the use of gas will maintain their position within the energy mix. He explained that the only fear facing the nuclear energy industry or the gas and oil industry in the world is the possibility that students in the future will drop their interest in studying this specialization, and the reason for that are the inaccurate messages that suggest that the future is only for renewable energy. These allegations should be addressed by explaining the importance of the hydrocarbon sources and nuclear energy in the global economy, and developing incentive programs for students to continue in this specialization.

H.E continued: “In the UAE we are proud of our young people, who have proven their ability to take the decision and choose the correct specialization that secures the human cadre required to operate and develop these sectors in the country. The interest of young people of both sexes to specialize in the various energy sectors in UAE is an important indicator of the ability of these sectors to adapt to the energy transformations and to attract qualified Emirati cadres.

- Gas discoveries

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry said, “The new discoveries in the gas sector and the growth of global demand and the decrease in the cost of gas worldwide will have a major impact on the continuing gas as an important source in the energy mix, which is included in the UAE energy strategy 2050. Gas in UAE will represent 38% among energy sources; as the recent gas discoveries in UAE contribute to achieving self-sufficiency and the continued supply of global markets with the surplus.

The Undersecretary pointed out that the fields of gas use are multiple, and the expansion of its use supports the lack of emissions and its ease of transportation, and storage and the need for it as a basic factor in producing electricity and achieving stability in transportation networks. In addition to the use of gas in the production of electricity, its uses inland transport and industry are experiencing an increasing growth, due to its ability to contribute to achieving the competitiveness of industrial products.

H.E Al-Neyadi explained that hydrogen is one of the sources that currently receives great attention, and its importance is increasing in the future due to the multiplicity of its production sources. Hydrogen can be produced or extracted from oil or gas fields, as it can be produced from water or using solar energy. It is extracted from the economically cheaper gas fields, which makes it a major component of the future energy mix.

H.E stated that access to technologies for storing electricity was and still is of interest and demand from the operators of the electricity sector.  The presence of the batteries at a lower cost and with greater ability to stand high temperatures will have a major role in developing electricity production in homes and in commercial buildings, without relying more on the large national network, and the emergence of the so-called mini or isolated networks, which are established especially in regions of rugged geographical nature.

- Electricity connection

H.E Dr. Matar Al Neyadi expected that the world would witness more electrical connections between different regions to achieve the greatest benefit from the different times of sunrise and sunset, or the difference between wind blowing and stillness. He said that in the Gulf region, we have a nucleus for a successful project by all standards, and that we work through the Gulf electrical link system to reach other neighboring regions, which will contribute to achieving greater utilization of the natural resources available in the countries and regions.

He continued: “The Arab Gulf region is located between the Horn of Africa, which feeds on the supply of low-cost electricity and from water and wind sources and has more demand for electricity during winter. The Gulf region is also near the Indian subcontinent, with which interconnection provides access to the electricity market in that area, and take advantage of the different times of sunrise and sunset.

H.E Al-Neyadi stressed that the industry is at the forefront of UAE’s priorities for the coming decades. The industry plays a big role in diversifying sources of income, attracting investments and modern technologies, creating jobs and job opportunities for the future generations, and manufacturing products that help in achieving self-sufficiency in some vital commodities to compete on global markets, and creating a distinguished global name for the Emirati product.

He said “The new industry that we aspire to reach is characterized by low emissions, low energy and water consumption; and these standards will draw the UAE Industry Strategy and its executive plans and programs, whose features started with the government's adoption of the UAE Industry Policy.

- Hamad Al-Kaabi: We are advancing with confidence in our nuclear program for six decades

The UAE is advancing with steady steps and complete safety and confidence in the path of developing its peaceful nuclear energy program for more than 6 decades to come, whereby the operation of each Barakah reactor ends after 60 years since its start of operation. The first station will stop in 2080, and the role of the agencies operating in the nuclear sector in UAE is concentrated in the coming years on the operational stages of the Barakah peaceful nuclear power plants. The first power plant of Barakah began operation last February, according to the Honorable Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, the permanent representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Nuclear Supervision Authority.

Honorable Ambassador Al-Kaabi said “The Federal Nuclear Control Authority carries out its current tasks, in addition to overseeing the operation of Barakah, while the Emirates Nuclear Energy Authority will work to supply unfertilized nuclear fuel and develop national cadres, and Nawah Energy Company will undertakes operations and disposes of spent fuel”.

He continued, “There is no establishment of additional reactors within the current scheme in the sector, and there may be new reactors in the future”, pointing out that the process of disposal of spent fuel in the Barakah peaceful nuclear energy reactor will witness several stages. the first of the stages would be the cooling of fuel in the water basins for a period of 20 Years, and it is one of the largest periods of time spent  in fuel cooling operations.

The Ambassador added: "The second stage of spent fuel management includes a pool for drying the fuel and storing it for 40 years in special containers for storage at the plant, while the last stage of spent fuel management includes placing it in landfills for nuclear waste."

The UAE has turned to peaceful nuclear energy based on new technologies to produce a safe and environmentally friendly electrical energy that supports growth in the country over the coming decades. The UAE Peace Nuclear Policy Document was adopted in 2008 and the establishment of a nuclear program for peaceful nuclear energy. The first phase of the program included building four reactors at the Barakah plant.

During the past 12 years, UAE has made quantum leaps in the peaceful nuclear energy sector to moving from a simple newcomer to the peaceful nuclear energy sector to a developer of nuclear energy. This has proven the country’s prestige and has established a culture of operational transparency and commitment to the highest standards of nuclear safety and quality, which reflects the country's ability to crystallize the vision adopted to develop peaceful nuclear energy more efficiently, and effectively compared to other emerging nuclear programs.

Ambassador Al-Kaabi pointed out that the four reactors at the Barakah plant will produce electrical energy in a safe and reliable manner, in a manner that covers 25% of the UAE's electricity needs. The electricity production process at the Baraka nuclear plant will provide the opportunity to achieve the highest level in reducing carbon emissions in the history of the electricity sector In UAE, the technology adopted in the APR1400 advanced power reactors is characterized by its commitment to the highest international safety standards.

- Experts: Increasing demand for traditional sources

Experts and workers in the energy sector confirmed that the next five decades will witness the strengthening of UAE's role in energy and security supplies, regionally and globally, in light of the successive discoveries of gas and the dependence on the latest technologies, expecting an increase in demand for traditional sources during the coming decades, especially in the petrochemical sectors.

They pointed out that the Emirates Energy Strategy and its readiness for its fifty-year entry into the renewable and clean energy sector, especially nuclear energy, contributes to supporting the accelerated development of various sectors in the country.

Mohamed Al Mobaideen, Head of Investor Relations at Dana Gas, said: “The trend for a renewable and clean energy sectors will increase in the coming decades as a result of global tendencies to preserve the climate, reduce carbon emissions and adopt sustainable energy. However, some of these sources are not permanent and the current technologies for batteries storing electricity for a long-term have not fulfilled the requirements yet."

He pointed out that gas is the most suitable source for the primary load of energy networks, and will be more reliable in providing electric energy during the coming decades, which enhances the role of the UAE in energy supply and security as a result of the recently announced discoveries; particularly in Jebel Ali and Sharjah field, with continuous search and exploration in other regions of UAE, which are expected to have gas .

He stressed that the UAE's steps towards the energy sector start from a wise and thoughtful vision aimed at achieving diversity. He pointed out that UAE has a competitive advantage represented by the lower costs of oil production compared to the global cost, which enhances the continuation of the UAE oil in support of development, and achieving the security of reliable global energy supply.

For his part, Mr. Thamer Shamsi, Head of the oil and gas division at the International Construction Company (IDC) said that In the coming years, there will be an increase in the demand for crude oil, as well as electricity, expecting a rise in demand for the petrochemical products. Moreover, and with the expected increase in electric cars, where a large percentage of the automotive components of its production are from the petrochemical industries; in addition to many sectors such as medicine and clothing, this will greatly increase the demand for these products, indicating that the increase in demand for petrochemicals coincides with the doubling of its profit margins.

He added that UAE has early adopted the policy of optimal utilization of its oil resources, in line with its internal needs and the requirements of the external export; and therefore its focus on petrochemical industries is an important step to produce what the state needs in this field, and to respond to export needs.

For his part, Ali Saeed Al Ameri, Chairman of Al Shumookh Petroleum Services Group, said, “The UAE has made a quantum leap years ago, when many countries anticipated going forward towards advanced technologies and technologies in various fields; particularly the energy sector.” He pointed out that working in the oil and gas sector during the coming decades needs new thought to extract oil at the lowest cost to continue achieving competitive advantage, in addition to providing more national cadres specialized in this sector.

He added, “Gas will play a big role in providing electric energy, and it is expected to reach the state's self-sufficiency of it by the end of the next decade, and it will be followed by exporting it abroad, with the increasing share of energy from new and clean sources”. He also pointed out that the entry of nuclear energy as a producer of electricity in UAE constitutes a change in the concept Income.

* Source: Al Etihad Newspaper - translated by MOEI

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