United Arab Emirates: Energy Resources
|Name||United Arab Emirates|
|Energy Consumption||3.26 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||AE|
|3-letter ISO code||ARE|
|Numeric ISO code||784|
|UN Region||Western Asia|
|Energy Maps||1 view|
|Energy Organizations||13 view|
|Research Institutions||0 view|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
|Wind Potential||813||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||61||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||Unavailable||Million Short Tons||N/A||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||6,071,000,000,000||Cubic Meters (cu m)||7||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||97,800,000,000||Barrels (bbl)||6||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring United Arab Emirates
Approximately 92% of the country's population has access to electricity.
The UAE is involved in the development of the Gulf Co-operation Council electricity grid, which plans to link the country to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region. Current plans are to include the U.A.E in the development of the Southern Grid, to be completed, it is expected, before 2012. Currently, 55% of the planned connection between Salwa on the Saudi/Qatari border and Sella in the U.A.E. is complete. Phase III of the GCC Grid will connect the Northern System – Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar – to the Southern System – UAE, and Oman by 2011.In December 2009, the UAE government awarded a $20 billion contract to Korea Electric Power (KEPCO) to build four nuclear reactors. Each reactor will have a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW) and free up domestic gas production for export. The first of the reactors is projected to come on-line in May 2017. The nuclear facilities will be the first in the Arab Gulf region and will provide enough electricity to export to its Gulf neighbors through the newly integrated regional power grid.
The UK Government and the United Arab Emirates announced a joint £1 million fund for renewable energy policy research at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2010.The agreement will also set up a partnership between government and the private sector to help small businesses deploy low-carbon energy sources.
Total Installed Electricity Capacity (2009): 23.25 GWeTotal Primary Energy Supply (2009): 59,590 ktoeNatural Gas: 82.5%Crude Oil and Products: 17.5%In 2009, the UAE produced 90,573 GWh of electricity.
The duties of the RSB include:Ensuring the security of supply of water and electricityEnsuring the connection and supply of water and electricity to all consumers on reasonable demand,Publishing information related to standards of performance by licensed operators,Promoting competition in the water and electricity sector.The FANR (www.fanr.gov.ae/) determines all matters relating to the control and supervision of the nuclear sector in the UAE, in particular nuclear safety and security, radiation protection and safeguards. All obligations under the relevant international treaties, conventions or agreements entered into by the UAE are carried out by FANR.
The Abu Dhabi water and electricity sector is structured on the "Single buyer" model, where all production capacity (power or water) is purchased centrally by ADWEC. Water and electricity is then sold to distribution and supply companies via an annually adjusted Bulk Supply Tariff (BST). The single buyer, transmission, distribution, supply and wastewater networks are monopoly activities so are regulated economically via the CPI-X system.ADEWA, on its establishment, dissolved and restructured the vertical and horizontal organisational system of the old WED and implemented a new structure for the water and electricity sector in 1999.Abu Dhabi has a history of welcoming private sector investment into its upstream oil and gas exploration and production sector. Indeed, Abu Dhabi was the only OPEC member not to nationalize the holdings of foreign investors during the wave of nationalization that swept the global oil and gas industry in the mid-1970s, and it continues to benefit from high levels of private-sector investment. Today international oil companies from the United States, Japan, France, Britain and other countries continue to hold combined equity stakes of between 40 and 100 percent in Abu Dhabi’s vast oil concessions.The dominant structure is vertically-integrated energy generation, as the main energy markets; electric, gas, and liquid fuels, are all nationalized and government-run.
The industrial sector contributes over half to the primary energy consumption. In 2009, the UAE consumed 41,841 ktoe. By sector, the industry consumed the most at 26,687 ktoe, followed by the transport sector at 8,529 ktoe, the residential sector at 2,886 ktoe and commercial and public services at 2,323 ktoe. By source, natural gas contributed the most at 24,808 ktoe, followed by oil products at 10,685 ktoe, electricity at 6,330 ktoe and biofuels and waster at 17 ktoe.A study examined the impact of thermal bridging effect on the building’s energy consumption, and found that appropriate external wall insulation strategies alone can save up to 30% of energy.Electricity is highly subsidised by the government and the current tariffs on electricity do not reflect the true economic costs of electricity production.
Booming economic growth across the U.A.E. has led to massive increases in the demand for electricity. Current estimates suggest that the domestic demand will more than double by 2020. With limitations on how much and how fast traditional resources, like natural gas, can be brought to market, as well as concerns about climate change, the U.A.E. Government has launched various initiatives aimed at identifying alternative means for producing the power needed to fuel its economy.
The National Water and Energy Research Center, a subsidiary of ADWEA, was established in 1999 and carries out research of water and energy utilizing modern innovative technology; specifically concerning power generation and water desalination. The development of renewable and alternative energy techniques is a main concern for the center, as well as the transfer of knowledge, innovation and national and regional participation affording technical and cost effective solutions for the preservation of the environment and a variety of power and water resources.Established in April 2006, Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) advances commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy solutions and clean technologies. Masdar has three business units and one investment arm:Masdar Carbon specialises in developing energy efficiency and clean fossil fuel projectsMasdar City is a clean technology cluster on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi that will be powered entirely by renewable energyMasdar Power builds and invests in utility scale renewable energy power projectsMasdar Venture Capital manages the Masdar Clean Tech Funds, building portfolios of direct investments in clean technology and renewable energy
Electricity marketThe electricity market in the U.A.E. is government owned and overseen by the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA, www.fewa.gov.ae). It provides water and electricity services in the North Emirates.The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA, www.dewa.gov.ae) was established in 1992 to replace the Dubai Electric Company and the Dubai Water Department.The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA, www.sewa.gov.ae/) supplies power in the Emirate of Sharjah.The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA, www.adwea.ae/) is a national organization incorporated by virtue of Law No. 2 issued in March 1998 to replace the former Water & Electricity Department (WED). It is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, maintaining a separate legal entity as well as complete financial and administrative independence. ADWEA supplies electricity and potable water to a population of more than 1.5 million in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. It has five wholly-owned subsidiaries in the sector and holds 60% of equities in eight independent water and power producers.Oil and gas marketThe oil policy of the UAE government is carried out mainly by the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) through the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Ownership of the liquid fuels market in the U.A.E. is restricted to government. Under the U.A.E.'s constitution, each emirate controls its own oil production and resource development. The contract structure is based on a long-term, production-sharing basis with the state mandated to own a majority of the equity stake in a project, often through joint venture companies.The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC, www.adnoc.ae/) was established in 1971 to operate in all areas of the oil and gas industry. ADNOC has 15 subsidiary companies working in the various fields of the oil, gas, and petrochemical industry as well as crude oil and gas transport and services. They include ADGAS, TAKREER, NDC, ESNAAD, IRSHAD, FERTIL, BOROUGE, ADNATCO-NGSCO, ADNOC Distribution, Elixier, Al Hosn Gas, the Zakum Development Company (ZADCO), the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Operations (ADCO), the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO, www.adma-opco.com/), which was established as a national corporate body in Abu Dhabi to succeed ADMA Ltd. as an operator for its concession and 60% owned by ADNOC, and the Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd. (GASCO, www.gasco.ae/), which was created in 1978 as a joint venture between ADNOC, Shell, Total and Partex, and integrated ATHEER (a wholly owned ADNOC Company) in 2001. GASCO is responsible for the processing of associated and non-associated onshore natural gas production.The Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC, www.enoc.ae) is effectively wholly owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, an entity wholly owned by the Government of Dubai. The Company was incorporated with limited liability in the Emirate of Dubai in April 1993 and is responsible for production and refining in Dubai.The Sharjah National Oil Corporation (SNOC) was created in November 2010 through a decree issued by the ruler of Sharjah, Shaikh Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi. It is owned by the emirate of Sharjah and has legal, financial and administrative independence to carry out operations in the upstream and downstream markets, as well as investing in other firms engaging in similar activities. SNOC manages those projects formerly operated by Crescent Petroleum in the emirate.
Degree of independence
The board of the RSB is comprised of the Chairman and four board members. The current chairman is also the Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, with board members comprising private company officials and governmental ministers. Membership period of the board is five years, subject to renewal. Funding is provided almost entirely through licensing fees. Administrative independence in regulatory matters is guaranteed under the establishing law.All members of the FANR are appointed by Minister’s Cabinet Resolution (1/386) of 2009 and must be citizens of the United Arab Emirates. The Board of Management appoints the Director General and is responsible for managing the Authority.The board of DEWA includes the MD/CEO, appointed independently of the government.
Progress Achieved on Energy for Sustainable Development In the Arab Regionhttp://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd14/escwaRIM_bp.pdf
The country has no specific renewable energy policy; however the rapidly growing demand for power, the average electricity consumption growth being 10% since 1980, makes the country seek to diversify its energy sources including renewable and nuclear energy.Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is a comprehensive plan to guide Abu Dhabi’s two-decade programme to transform its economy from one based on natural resources to one based on knowledge, innovation and the export of technologies. Key goals include increasing the non-oil share of the economy from approximately 40% to more than 60% and significantly diversifying the scope of economic activity. It also puts a strong emphasis on value-added knowledge-based industries, such as renewable energy and sustainable technologies.Masdar (www.masdar.ae/) was established in 2006, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government-owned Mubadala Development Company, a catalyst for the economic diversification of the Emirate. It is a commercially driven enterprise that operates to reach the broad boundaries of the renewable energy and sustainable technologies industry – thereby giving it the necessary scope to meet these challenges. Masdar is a key element of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and operates through five integrated units:Masdar Institute is an independent, research-driven graduate institute developed with the ongoing support and cooperation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It focuses on the science and engineering of advanced alternative energy, environmental technologies and sustainability to be at the heart of the home-grown research and development community at Masdar City and will eventually host 600-800 Master’s and PhD students and 200 faculty. The institute is fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges.Masdar Capital seeks to build a portfolio of the world’s most promising renewable energy and clean technology companies. It helps its portfolio companies grow and scale-up by providing capital and management expertise and invests in clean energy, environmental resources, energy and material efficiency and environmental services through the Masdar Clean Technology Fund (MCTF), launched in 2006, and the DB Masdar Clean Tech Fund (DBMCTF), launched in 2009.Masdar Power is a developer and operator of renewable power generation projects. In building a portfolio of strategic utility-scale projects, Masdar Power makes direct investments in individual projects in all areas of renewable energy as well as in technology relevant to utility-scale renewable energy, with a focus on Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), photovoltaic solar energy and on- and offshore wind energy. In a joint venture with Abengoa Solar and Total, Masdar Power is developing the 100MW Shams 1 CSP plant in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, set to be the largest CSP plant in the world.Masdar Carbon manages projects that bring reductions in carbon emissions through energy efficiency and waste heat/CO2 recovery, as well as through carbon capture and storage (CCS). Through large-scale CCS projects in partnership with the ADNOC and others in the power and industrial sectors in the Emirate, it will capture five million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and contribute to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 by helping to lower the Emirate’s carbon footprint.Masdar City is an emerging global clean-technology cluster with resident companies in global renewable energy and cleantech industry, aspiring to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world. It showcases, markets, researches, develops, tests and implements current and future renewable energy and clean technologies. It hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).A green building code in Dubai came into effect in January 2009. The code is based on the US Green Building Council’s (US GBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, with modifications made to account for the local environmental conditions.The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme was launched in April 2011 by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA, www.esma.gov.ae) and the Ministry of Environment and Water. The ESMA was established being the sole standardization body in the UAE under Law No. 28/2001 and is a body of juridical and of an independent budget. The programme aims to improve energy efficiency and conservation through the promotion of saving and efficient utilisation of energy at home and expects a saving of 30% of electric consumption through the use of the compulsory card for home air conditioners to make them more energy efficient due to begin early 2012.
Net Exports (2007): 108,936 ktoeThe UAE's primary energy source export is crude oil, accounting for 81% of export capacity. It is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Proven recoverable oil reserves are currently estimated at 97.8 billion barrels as of January 2011, or 7% of the global total. The country is also a major supplier of natural gas. The U.A.E. is reliant on imported knowledge and materials to support its nuclear program, particularly from US companies, notably Westinghouse. Rising domestic demand for subsidized energy and electricity has caused the UAE to become a net importer of natural gas and strained volumes of liquids available for export.
Role of the government
Ministry of Energy (www.moenr.gov.ae/). Minister : Mohammed bin Dha'en Al HamiliThe Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), chaired by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al- Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, formulates and oversees the implementation of Abu Dhabi petroleum policies.
As yet there are no dedicated policies to promote sustainable energy in the country, aside from the duties of Masdar, the RSB and DEWA. The power sector in Abu Dhabi is regulated through the Law No (2) of 1998 Concerning the Regulation of the Water and Electricity Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and other relevant laws.
The UAE holds considerable allure for developers, given its tax-free status. The caveat however, is that any new company must be 51 per cent owned - at all times - by one or more UAE nationals.Another issue is that of permitting. Renewable energy projects in the UAE do not follow the same approval process as other utilities, given that each Emirate has its own set of requirements. Generally, the key bodies involved in UAE's permitting process include the municipality, road and transport authorities, water and electricity department, environmental societies, and the master developer. The permitting process not only varies from location to location, it also varies between master developments. This is because each master development commands its own permitting process, in addition to municipal requirements.Masdar City, however, is subject to its own regulations and requirements.
The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB, www.rsb.gov.ae), established under Law No (2) of 1998, is the independent regulatory body for the electricity and water sectors in Abu Dhabi.The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR, www.fanr.gov.ae/) is the independent government body charged with regulating and licensing nuclear activities in the UAE, including the nuclear power programme, and radioactive material and radiation sources used in medicine, research, oil exploration and other industries.The Dubai Government is creating an independent regulatory body for the water and power sector under the Higher Committee for Energy and Environment. The new entity will develop the standards for the sector and control and licence the establishments related to the sector.
Solar energyAbu Dhabi is set to install a solar plant, Shams1, with an approximate capacity of 100MW, which will deliver power to the grid by 2012, and contribute towards Abu Dhabi's target of achieving 7% renewable energy power generation capacity by 2020. Masdar, the U.A.E. government's renewable energy consortium, has appointed the consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate the installation, set to be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the Middle East. The second solar project is Noor One, the 100MW PV in city of Al Ain.Solar potential is good, with an average horizontal irradiance of 5.8 kWh/m2/day, or with an average solar insulation exceeding 8.5 GJ/m2 year.Wind energyA wind power plant on Sir Baniyas Island is under construction and will be the first wind project in the GCC. The operational capacity of the project upon completion will be up to 30 MW and the plant will be connected to the Abu Dhabi power grid. Wind potential is good, with average monthly wind speeds of 4.2-5.3 m/s in coastal areas of Abu Dhabi. Some parts in UAE have an average speed of 6 m/s.Geothermal energyMasdar has begun drilling two geothermal wells in Masdar City, the country's renewable energy and energy efficiency research hub. This is the first geothermal power project to get underway in the Middle East. The two wells are said to be capable of powering the entire air conditioning needs of the city, a major contributor to energy consumption.Biomass/BiofuelsMasdar City has, within it, a research centre for aviation biofuels, funded in part by Boeing and Etihad Airways. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project is looking to integrated saltwater agricultural systems to produce the fuel. Construction is also underway of an Ethos Fuel Reformulating (EFR) plant in the country, proposed by Californian firm Joseph and Gionis (J&G).HydropowerThe U.A.E. has little to no exploitable hydropower potential.Wave energyA maximum possible wave power of 16.9 kW/m could be extracted from Dubai coasts at extreme condition during winter season, and the yearly average wave power distribution was calculated to be 4.5 kW/m.Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)This technology cannot be applied in the UAE due to low temperature gradient in both Arabian Gulf and Arab Sea.Tidal energyThe maximum and average monthly powers that can be extracted from the tides are calculated to be between 0.0964MW and 0.0482MW. These values are considered very low and unsuitable for any major applications.
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