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Petroleum refining industry sector and gas producing industry are the foundation of the power industry in the United Arab Emirates. However, electrical energy in the UAE is also produced by other alternative sources. In recent years, the Government of the United Arab Emirates successfully implements projects in the field of renewable energy sources and nuclear energy.


Electricity in the UAE – traditional and alternative sources

Power plants, which run on petrochemical products and natural gas are the traditional source of electrical energy in the UAE. Power plants in the UAE provide about 75% of the total electrical energy production. It is noteworthy that more than 50% of the natural gas produced during summer months is used by power plants.

Today, the Government of the United Arab Emirates works actively on the development of the nuclear energy. A large-scale government project envisages that by 2020 the volume of the electrical energy produced by the nuclear power plants will be no less than 25% of the total amount of the produced electricity. Construction of the nuclear reactors of the Barakah nuclear power plant is already nearing completion. It is planned that the nuclear power plant will start operating in 2017, and the capacity of each of the four nuclear units will be 1.4 Gigawatts.

The nuclear power development program foresees that all the works are carried out exclusively for peaceful purposes and are absolutely transparent for international observers. Moreover, the UAE strictly follows international rules in terms of non-proliferation of nuclear materials and cooperates directly with the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Nuclear power plants in the UAE are one of the tools to loosen the dependence of the national economy on the oil and gas sector. Electrical energy production will be carried out by the third generation nuclear reactors, which operate on the light water. The advanced international experience is used during the construction of the stations, and consultations are provided by the experts from Russia, the USA, Germany, France, England and China. All the works are performed under the supervision of the specialized international commission.

Renewable energy in the UAE

Speaking about the renewable energy, it can be noted that the United Arab Emirates is a full member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), along with such countries as the USA, Australia, France and Germany. The headquarters of this Agency is located in the United Arab Emirates.

Numerous projects in the field of the renewable energy sources are implemented successfully in the UAE. The Government realizes that energy demand of the country will only increase in the near future. That is why the innovative projects on production of wind and solar energy are introduced. According to preliminary estimates, the share of renewables in total volume of electricity production will be more than 7% by 2020.

Owing to the sound public policy, the United Arab Emirates has become the world's leading business and financial centre. Today, the UAE is a free trade, an open economy and a diversification of incomes from the oil and gas sector into the other sectors, as well as into the effective development of the national energy sector.

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