The photo is sourced from tech.news.am
The project implemented by Masdar and TAQA companies from the UAE together with the French EDF Renewables and Chinese JinkoPower will allow for increasing the role of low-carbon sources in electricity generation of the UAE, where natural gas remains the key source of power. According to Ember research centre, the share of gas-fired CHPPs in the UAE energy mix made 82.5% in 2022, nuclear reactors accounted for 13%, and solar panels – for the remaining 4.5%. The relatively high position of nuclear energy is associated with implementing the Baraka NPP project, where the first power unit was connected to the grid in August 2020, and the second and the third units – in September 2021 and in October 2023 respectively. The license for operating the fourth power unit was issued this November. According to IAEA, after the fourth unit is launched, the UAE can outstrip Finland in terms of the net nuclear reactors’ capacity (5.32 GW) and take the 13th position in the world.
By 2050, the UAE intend to assure the carbon neutrality. With this in mind, the country has completely abandoned the coal-fired generation: according to Global Energy Monitor, the only two generating units operating on coal with the total capacity of 1.2 GW were decommissioned in 2022. In addition to power generation, oil-and-gas industry is one of the biggest sources of atmospheric emissions in the UAE. According to McKinsey, in the UAE 1 bbl of the oil equivalent of the produced hydrocarbons accounts for 15.5 kg of the CO2-equivalent of greenhouse gases on average, which is below the same metric for many oil and gas producing countries including Canada (36.6 kg of the CO2-equivalent of emissions per 1 bbl of oil equivalent), Libya (41.8 kg of the CO2-equivalent) and Mexico (42.3 kg of the CO2-equivalent).
Overall, the UAE hold the third position among all the Middle East countries in terms of absolute volumes of GHG emissions (292.5 mt of the CO2-equivalent in 2022). According to Energy Institute, in 2022 the country was behind Iran (667.4 mt of the CO2-equivalent) and Saudi Arabia (612.5 mt of the CO2-equivalent), outstripping Iraq (153.1 mt of the CO2-equivalent) and Qatar (110.8 mt of the CO2-equivalent of GHG emissions).