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UAE Commits to Renewables

11 Jan 15:00 by Steve Walia

Flag of the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is the latest nation to show its commitment to renewable energy by announcing that it will be investing £134 billion in clean energy projects in order to ensure half of the nation's total power needs are met by renewables by 2050.

The country is known for being one of the most powerful oil-producing nations in the world, but its government now says it wants to balance environmental goals with economic growth.

Currently, the UAE generates an average of 2,99 million barrels a day of oil. According to OPEC figures, it exports around 2,44 million of these.

The World Bank released figures that show which countries are emitting the highest levels of greenhouse gases, and the UAE is currently at eighth on the global listing, below Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

It is naturally very well situated to benefit from considerable solar power and is keen to limit its own reliance on fossil fuels.

Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum released a statement saying that he aspired to have 44p of the country's total power needs met by renewable energy by 2050. Of the remaining amount, 38pc would be met by gas, 12pc from cleaner and more modern versions of fossil fuels and the 6pc remaining coming from nuclear power.

This plan includes an efficiency strategy to increase usage by 50pc and increase clean-energy inputs to 50pc. He added that an energy strategy was an essential part of looking ahead to the future, and that the UAE was proud to have a single and unified energy strategy that would take the country forward.

Forerunners in the switch to cleaner energy have include Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The former opened the world's biggest solar power plant in 2014, and Dubai is working on a similar plan for 2030.