Pioneering new research led by EWS-WWF to unearth UAE’s renewable energy potential | WWF

Pioneering new research led by EWS-WWF to unearth UAE’s renewable energy potential

Posted on
16 November 2016

  • Groundbreaking ‘100% Renewable Energy Vision for the United Arab Emirates – 2050’ project to identify the potential for renewable energy in the UAE as the country prepares for post-oil era 
  • An in-depth report, to be produced as part of the project, led by EWS-WWF in close collaboration with Baringa, will assess UAE’s feasibility of transitioning to 75-100% renewable energy by 2050 and set out clear recommendations required to achieve the 2050 vision
  • EWS-WWF and Baringa will collaborate with Masdar Institute experts as chief research partners
  • Announcement coincides with the UAE’s participation at COP22 following its recent ratification of the Paris Agreement 
Abu Dhabi, UAE; 16 November, 2016: As the twenty second session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is underway in Marrakech this week, the Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF), today announced its plan to assess the feasibility of up to 100% renewable energy in the UAE in a bid to support the UAE in fulfilling its commitment to address climate change - a top priority on the national agenda – and to facilitate enhanced energy security through diversification of domestic energy supply.

According to WWF’s ‘Energy Report: 100% renewable energy by 2050’, supplying the world with 95% RE sources by 2050 will reduce 80% of GHG emissions from the energy sector. By 2050, four trillion euros/year can be saved thanks to energy efficiency and reduced fuel costs.

The project, known as the ‘100% Renewable Energy Vision for the UAE – 2050’ will see EWS-WWF and Baringa Partners join forces to assess the feasibility of transitioning to 75-100% levels of renewable energy for power generation in the UAE by 2050.

The project aims to bring the country one step closer to determining concrete actions to scale up the level of ambition and implementation of renewable energy generation in the UAE. As renewable energy technology and infrastructure costs continue to fall and the technologies themselves become more efficient, the UAE is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the emerging adoption of smart grids and renewable energy sources, especially solar energy. 

Commenting on the project, Tanzeed Alam, Climate and Energy Director at EWS-WWF, said: “Our project ‘100% Renewable Energy Vision for the UAE – 2050’ aims to unlock the true potential of renewable energy in the country. Given the unlimited sunshine levels that we enjoy in the UAE, we believe that much more implementation of renewable energy is possible, but, where do we start? Which energy sources should we prioritise to achieve an optimal response? That’s precisely what the research aims to address. Then, by setting out some clear and actionable recommendations, we believe that the UAE will be better equipped to move towards a climate-resilient future which will benefit UAE society, its economy and the environment. We plan to engage closely with energy authorities, utilities, private sector and leaders to ensure there is concrete action to make this work a reality.”

Alam added: “At EWS-WWF, we believe that dynamic and innovative partnerships are critical to solving complex global challenges such as climate change. That’s why we are looking to form partnerships with visionary organisations committed to driving the creation of a thriving UAE market for renewable power - a game-changer in reducing emissions and transitioning to the post-oil era.”

Nick Carter, Director – Middle East at Baringa Consulting Limited, added: “We are delighted to be working with EWS-WWF. The expertise that Baringa’s technical team bring to the project is one with a deep knowledge of renewable resources globally. Our excellent track record working with utility companies around the world on technical modelling projects, coupled with my sectoral knowledge through my previous position as Director General of the RSB – Abu Dhabi, puts us in the perfect position to produce research that will provide outputs and recommendations to turn ambitious renewable energy targets into a reality for the country by 2050.” 

Commenting on the project, Ilesh Patel, Partner at Baringa Consulting Limited, said “Baringa is pleased to have been awarded this landmark project to examine a 100% Renewable Energy Vision for the UAE – 2050.  This project enables us to use our deep understanding of energy systems and leading edge modelling tools to help EWS-WWF develop a vision for a scaling up in the level of ambition and implementation of renewable energy generation in the UAE.”

This analysis will provide cross-sectoral short and long-term recommendations, on a federal and emirate level, that the UAE can realistically implement to reach these ambitious levels of renewable energy generation.
Dr. Steven Griffiths, Vice President for Research, Interim Associate Provost at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said: “Masdar Institute has conducted extensive research on the potential for renewable energy in the UAE, particularly solar energy, and with consideration of both the technologies and policies that the country can implement to achieve tangible results. This project has the potential to build upon our prior research to test the boundaries of what the UAE can achieve in extending its leadership in the advancement of renewable energy”.