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Abu Dhabi forges ahead on path to Net Zero

Abu Dhabi forges ahead on path to Net Zero
16 Apr 2024 22:58


To meet increasing energy demands and triple the contribution of renewable energy, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 envisages investment of between Dh150 and Dh200 billion by 2030.

Launched in 2017, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 aims to strike a balance between supply and demand with environmental obligations and creates a favourable climate for economic growth.

By 2050, 90% of the world economy should have Net Zero emissions, according to the UAE's Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative. 

Shedding light on Abu Dhabi's path towards sustainability, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) unveiled the Abu Dhabi Energy Outlook 2050, outlining strategies to achieve the national Net Zero objective.

Addressing key sectors including power, industry, buildings, and transportation, the Outlook prioritises initiatives such as electrification, clean fuels, and Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) technologies. 

With a focus on expediting decarbonisation efforts, the Outlook prioritises the production of waste energy, low-carbon hydrogen, clean energy certificates, and the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

In guiding Net Zero targets, the DoE charts a course for Abu Dhabi's transport sector to contribute significantly, leveraging clean fuel vehicle deployment, public transit, and maritime and aviation policies to increase the usage of clean vehicle adoption by 55 percent by 2050.

Meanwhile, the Emirate's buildings sector is poised to reach Net Zero targets through a strategic blend of energy efficiency, electrification, and efficient cooling policies, with potential gains of 40-45 percent in energy efficiency and district cooling penetration.

Across Abu Dhabi's industrial landscape, four pivotal policies — fuel switching, energy efficiency, industrial power supply, and industrial development — are primed to drive contributions to Net Zero targets, fostering the adoption of clean carbon technologies and cleaner fuels, according to the outlook.

In the power sector, Abu Dhabi is steadfast in its quest for Net Zero status by 2050, anchored by clean energy targets, grid flexibility policies, and electricity market reforms. These initiatives aim to curtail energy intensity, stimulate industrial growth, and establish programmes for stable clean energy supply.

Similarly, in the gas and liquids sector, Abu Dhabi is on track to realise Net Zero aspirations through strategic policies centred on gas supply and market pricing strategies.

Embracing a comprehensive approach, Abu Dhabi's Net Zero vision encompasses four key policies —  demand-side management, low-carbon hydrogen, carbon market/pricing, and Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage, aiming to enhance energy efficiency and promote clean technology investments.

Abu Dhabi's energy demand is projected to witness a surge in demand, reaching 1.4 exajoules by 2050, primarily from natural gas. However, to align with Net Zero objectives, an increased electrification and alternative fuel switching are needed. While current policies aim to slash CO2 emissions by 30% by 2050, the pursuit of net-zero emissions by 2050 demands the implementation of more ambitious measures, the outlook said.

In the pursuit of sustainable energy development, Abu Dhabi's energy system development aims to maintain energy independence by 2050, optimising natural resource exploitation through electrification, fuel switching, and energy efficiency initiatives.

Abu Dhabi's Net Zero future aims to transition from fossil fuel to a diverse supply-side mix, varying energy use patterns. The city's transportation sector will undergo significant changes, with investments in hydrogen refuelling stations and innovative vehicle technologies. Emissions from the transport sector are expected to decrease by 70 percent between 2021 and 2050.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi's Net Zero vision aims to promote sustainable buildings globally through demand-side management initiatives and innovative architectural designs, aiming for 50 percent energy consumption reduction by 2050.

In the industrial arena, Abu Dhabi anticipates a doubling of its Industrial Production Index (IPI) from 95 in 2021 to 200 by 2050, signalling a marked reduction in energy intensity. 

Energy-intensive sectors such as aluminium and steel will innovate, while alternative fuel switching, and electrification infrastructure will boost non-oil production, the report said.

Central to Abu Dhabi's Net Zero vision is the pursuit of a cleaner energy ecosystem, with nuclear, renewables, and natural gas making up 95 percent of primary fuels. Electricity will dominate secondary energy sources, and ambitious clean energy policies and technologies are required by 2050.

Policymakers are urged to allocate resources towards education, infrastructure, and cost-bridging initiatives to expedite decarbonisation efforts. 

Collaboration with government entities is essential to address challenges such as access to key technologies, supply chain disruptions, and local production constraints, the Outlook said.

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