UAE’s nuclear energy industry, pivotal role in comprehensive development
Despite all the challenges, 2021 has been a remarkable year for the UAE’s nuclear energy industry and the nation’s future as a whole. On the UAE’s fiftieth anniversary, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) reflected upon the key initiatives that the country has embarked upon to safeguard the next fifty years.
ENEC has achieved commercial operations of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, dispatching the nation’s first megawatts of carbon-free electricity. The Plant plays a significant role in the country’s clean energy transition and is already delivering the greatest decarbonisation effort in the UAE’s power sector history.
It also contributes significantly to the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which entails goals to reduce carbon emissions, while targeting 50 percent of the country’s total energy derived from clean and renewable sources.
This year has been a significant period for the efforts of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme in tackling climate change, with the UAE pledging to become carbon neutral by 2050 amid heightened awareness and concern on global warming.
Today, the Barakah Plant is a significant contributor to delivering climate change solutions. This is only set to increase in the coming years as all four units of the Plant come online to generate up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity. The Plant is also forecast to be the biggest contributor to reducing Abu Dhabi Emirate’s carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2025 and generate 85 percent of Abu Dhabi’s clean electricity.
Looking to the future, the UAE has embarked upon several initiatives that will build the nation for the next half-century under the Principles of the 50 – the UAE’s roadmap for fast-tracking national economic development to mark the country’s golden jubilee. The significant economic opportunities offered by the path to net-zero directly support the vision to develop the UAE into the most dynamic economy in the world. The Barakah Plant and the broader nuclear energy sector significantly contribute to this roadmap.
The Barakah Plant facilitates accelerated R&D in nuclear science and technology and drives innovation in various related fields, including hydrogen, to drive future decarbonisation. More importantly, the groundwork that has been done will enable the development of skills and talent in the clean energy and nuclear sectors for Emirati future generation, while inspiring youth to continue pursuing climate change action and become the clean energy leaders of tomorrow.
ENEC will continue to reinforce the UAE’s position as a global energy leader and support sustainability goals under the historic Net Zero Strategic Initiative and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.
For the next chapter of the country, ENEC remains committed to leading the nation’s decarbonisation efforts through the Barakah Plant and various training programmes for youth in the nuclear energy field to continue building expertise for the next 50 years.