UAE ‘world leaders in renewable energy’
According to a report released by The Climate Group, a non-profit environmental organisation, the UAE is leading the way in developing the solar energy sector and pushing down the cost of renewable energy.
And Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s 200-megawatt solar plant is expected to be producing green electricity at the lowest price in the world by 2017.
Speaking at the summit, Mark Kenber, chief executive of The Climate Group, said that the UAE was recognised as the world leader in renewable energy.
The Climate Group report cited the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – which will generate energy at 21 fils per kilowatt hour – and Dubai’s commitment to investing Dh11 billion to increase energy generation capacity from one to three gigawatts as the reasons.
“I think that the UAE in particular is being globally recognised for its low carbon leadership both in the projects in place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai alike, and, increasingly, the companies that are also coming on board,” Mr Kenber said,
He said that companies around the world have been encouraged to implement environmental practices because governments provide incentives.
“We’ve seen that here in the UAE with the Government driving green growth plans, but what we’re also seeing here is the interest from companies,” he said.
According to the report, the UAE’s green economy is expected to provide 160,000 jobs by 2030 and boost GDP by 5 per cent.
Mr Kenber said low-carbon leadership in the UAE is on par with levels in China, in terms of government incentives and plans. “The report shows that the UAE is the leader in renewable energy in the Mena region, certainly the leader in solar, in fact, excluding Egypt. Its solar capacity is greater than all of the rest of the countries put together.”
The report showed that the UAE’s response to renewable energy investment is indicative of the growth that has been experienced around the world.
“In fact, there has been more solar energy installed in the past four years than there has been in the past four decades,” he added.
Mr Kenber said the willingness for companies to invest in renewable is partly for the benefits and the reputation of being recognised as an “environmentally friendly” business, but also for financial reasons.
The UAE was described as an exemplary model of leadership in the green economy, both regionally and globally, and has the strong potential to be a hub of a global energy revolution.
“The UAE is strategically located to take advantage of a rapid increase in demand for renewable power and clean technology,” the report said. “Clean technology innovation and international collaboration is earning the UAE a reputation as a leading clean energy innovation hub as the world looks – once again – to the region to help drive the next global energy revolution.”