UAE to grow its renewable energy portfolio 4 times in 7 years: Al Jaber

The country has built three of the largest and lowest-cost, single-site solar plants in the world


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 5:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Mar 2023, 5:54 PM

The UAE will grow its renewable energy portfolio four times through Masdar from the existing 25,000 megawatts to over 100 gigawatts by 2030, said Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate.

While delivering a keynote speech at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue Conference 2023 (BETD) on Wednesday he invited German and global firms to work with the UAE to deliver commercial renewable energy projects in every region in the world.

Highlighting the UAE’s achievements, he said the UAE has built three of the largest and lowest-cost, single-site solar plants in the world.

The UAE will host the climate change conference COP28 later this year and the UAE Minister stressed that it would do so with a commitment to truly correct the course, and enable meaningful, practical, pragmatic, transformational progress.

World losing race

He said Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last week sent a clear message and warned that the world is losing the race to keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“We have a small window of opportunity to make a massive course correction. There is still time, but we must act now and we must act together. We must reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. We have to make these cuts while meeting the energy needs of a population that will grow by half a billion by 2030,” said Al Jaber.

He advised that one size fits all approach will not work, hence, there is a need to explore every available option such as renewables, hydrogen, nuclear, or carbon capture.

Al Jaber called for tripling renewable energy capacity over the next seven years and expanding it six times by 2040. “That is 250,000 terawatt – a very ambitious target.”

He added that there are more than 5,000 steel, cement and aluminium manufacturing plants in the world today. “Along with heavy transportation, these hard-to-abate sectors make up over 30 per cent of global emissions. This is where solutions like hydrogen come in an option we have been exploring proactively with our partners here in Germany.”

Carbon capture is key

He added that there are only 44 million tonnes per annum of operational carbon capture worldwide.

“We need to multiply that amount 30 times. But we also know that the main barrier here is cost. We need smart, progressive government intervention through policies and regulations to attract and incentivise private sector investment. We need to explore emerging carbon capture technologies like direct air mineralization and osmosis,” the UAE minister said.

He stressed that carbon emissions are an industrial-size problem that requires industrial-scale solutions.

The minister again invited engineering, technology, energy and industrial players from Germany and all over the world to partner with the UAE and develop the carbon capture value chain.


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