Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar delivering keynote address during the Singapore Energy Summit.
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), has outlined how Abu Dhabi’s energy transformation has dramatically changed the emirate’s energy profile over the past few years. He was delivering keynote address at the Singapore Energy Summit, held as part of Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW).
Singapore and the UAE share a lot of similarities; especially in setting an exemplary model for sustainable development, and therefore could share knowledge and benchmark against each other.”
Highlighting the UAE Capital’s capabilities in accelerating energy transition, Al Marar emphasised the commitment of the Abu Dhabi Government to enhance sustainable development of clean energy. “Abu Dhabi is committed to pioneering the paradigm shift towards renewable and clean forms of energy. This was one of the key factors in the establishment of the DoE in 2018,” he said.
Outlining Abu Dhabi’s progressive economic vision for the post oil-era, he said: “With energy use in Abu Dhabi having more than doubled over the past decade and projected to increase by 1.4 per cent each year until 2035 due to population rise and economic growth, we recognised the need to transition our energy system towards a sustainable future and to enhance energy efficiency and rationalize consumption. Our approach is outlined in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the country’s first unified energy strategy based on supply and demand.”
Launched in 2017, the strategy aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50 per cent by 2050, reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70% and increase consumption efficiency by 40 per cent.
The DoE Chairman mentioned that Abu Dhabi remains a major oil and gas supplier to the international system, however, this has not slowed the pace of its transition to clean and renewable energy sources.
He said: “By all measures, our energy transition has been accelerated over the past few years, with key developments to promote the emirate’s nuclear and solar capacity.
“The Barakah Nuclear Plant is expected to bring 5.6 GW of clean energy to the Abu Dhabi power mix and offset more than 21 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year when fully operational.
“Abu Dhabi’s flagship Noor Abu Dhabi Solar PV Plant — one of the world’s largest solar PV plants at 1,177 MW installed capacity through 3.2 million solar panels –alone has delivered about 2.6 per cent of the emirate’s energy requirements. “We also introduced the Virtual Battery Plant in January 2019 - the world’s largest grid-scale advanced battery energy storage facility with 108MW Sodium Sulphur batteries with over six hours of energy storage capacity in 10 different locations in Abu Dhabi.”
Another strategic priority for Abu Dhabi is water security. The UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to reduce total demand for water resources by 21 per cent, increase the reuse of treated water to 95 per cent and increase national water storage capacity up to two days.
Al Marar said: “In Abu Dhabi, we have set targets to minimize water losses to 10 per cent, reduce indoor and outdoor water use intensity to 12 per cent, and increase use of recycled water to 100 per cent by 2030.
“Just last year, Abu Dhabi unveiled a bid for a mega water desalination project at Taweela power and water complex with RO capacity of 200 million imperial gallons a day. This project would raise Abu Dhabi’s desalinated water by RO from 13 per cent in 2018 to 30 per cent in 2022.
“Also, in January 2018, Abu Dhabi completed construction of the Liwa aquifer – the world’s largest reserve of 26 Mm3 of high-quality desalinated water. This project is sufficient to store 5.6 billion gallons of water, or enough to provide 180 liters of drinking water to one million people for up to 90 days.”
Other key highlights of Abu Dhabi’s water security efforts that His Excellency mentioned were water reservoir, consumption behavioral change and water demand management. This includes the launch of Abu Dhabi Demand Side Management and Energy Consumption Rationalization Strategy 2030, which features nine core programs with a high potential to reduce water consumption by 32% and energy consumption by 22 per cent by 2030.
Al Marar said: “Improving energy efficiency will bring significant value to Abu Dhabi by reducing the need for new infrastructure, reducing natural gas and gas oil consumption and better utilising existing resources.”