UAE needs energy supply growth of 71% to match demand by 2019

Published October 9th, 2010 - 05:50 GMT

According to research company Business Monitor International (BMI) in its second quarter 2010 power report for Middle East and Africa (MEA) primary energy demand (PED) in the UAE will increase by more than 71% by 2019. But that demand will only be met if the country’s utility providers generate annual energy growth of 5.4% over the next nine years.


The country’s power consumption is expected to increase from an estimated 68 Terra Watt hours (TWh) last year to nearly 95 TWh by the end of 2019, whereas UAE electricity generation, which was over 76 TWh in 2008 must grow by 5.4% per annum to maintain a broadly balanced market. However, regional and international sustainability experts have warned that the clock maybe ticking on traditional power generation.


Anita Mathews, Exhibition Director at Power Generation and Water Middle East, which takes place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 17-19 October 2010, commented: “Something has to give. Increased demand can be met through existing resources in the UAE, but there will be a negative impact on the environment, with increased carbon emissions. Sustainable power projects must be implemented to ensure clean renewable energy past 2020 and beyond.”


Although BMI estimates that thermal power generation in 2009 accounted for 93% of the total electricity supplied throughout the region, experts agree that a varied but balanced energy policy is the best way to a sustainable future, combining traditional thermal power generation with hydroelectricity, nuclear power, solar power and wind power. However for the moment, gas is the dominant fuel for the UAE, accounting for an estimated 70% of primary energy demand (PED), last year followed by oil at 30%.


These issues will be debated at length at this year’s Power & Water Leaders Forum 2010, which is being held in conjunction with Power Generation and Water Middle East, where Scott Minos, Senior Policy & Communications Specialist, US Department of Energy, will discuss how the Obama Administration is taking a different energy path to that of George W. Bush, and what the GCC can learn from its efficiency models.


“Within the current scope of technology and environmental issues such as rising carbon emissions there is possibly no such thing as true energy independence, but nations can take steps to manage energy more productively. In the first instance this means managing demand, supply and footprint,” said Minos.


Elsewhere on the programme, Darrin Rovere, President of Jordan-based Sustainability Excellence will outline why sustainable working practices are key to the future of power supply for the Middle East. During his presentation, Rovere will also discuss sustainability as a management framework to tackle the transformative challenges facing the industry.


In its ‘Responsible competitiveness in the Arab world 2009’ report, Sustainability Excellence, highlights ongoing green projects across a number of industry sectors, including Abu Dhabi’s eco city Masdar and Algeria developing a unique hybrid solar and natural gas plant with plans to export to Europe.


“These sustainable initiatives show that the region is making steady and tangible progress,” added Mathews.


Power Generation and Water Middle East provide companies operating in these sectors a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services and benefit from the massive investment programmes currently underway.


The event has established itself as the meeting place for industry professionals wishing to network with, and source suppliers from, local and international companies offering solutions to the power, water and wastewater industries. Areas covered include; energy supply, transmission and distribution; innovation and new technologies,  water  & waste water and desalination.


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