ABU DHABI, 14th January 2017 (WAM) – New energy strategy marks an appropriate continuation of UAE’s policy of inclusive progress, said a newspaper.

In a commentary carried today, the English language daily ‘Gulf News’ said the UAE’s decision to invest Dh600 billion in renewable energy projects by 2050 and achieve a balance of clean energy in the nation’s energy mix, is a landmark decision that sets the stage for rapid but sustainable economic growth.

The UAE Energy Plan 2050, announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, outlines a reduction in carbon emissions from its power plants by 70 per cent, while setting ambitious targets of generating 44 per cent of national power from renewable sources such as solar energy, 38 per cent from gas, 12 per cent from clean coal and six per cent from nuclear energy. It also aims to improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent, with the collective effort resulting in savings worth Dh700 billion.

However, the paper noted, the new strategy is not only geared towards economic benefits alone and it marks an appropriate continuation of the nation’s inclusive and responsible progress. As a signatory to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the 2050 plan also signals the UAE’s clear commitment to a cleaner environment, rationalising overall energy consumption.

“For a core member of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with some of the world’s biggest oil-and-gas reserves, to commit to such goals is yet another reflection of the UAE leadership’s pragmatic vision for the future, focusing on building a burgeoning and diverse economy that is increasingly less reliant on oil.

The strategy also achieves a significant synergy between sources of energy ranging from renewable and nuclear to clean fossil fuel, while its emphasis on integration and innovation will spur research and investments in the sector and increase public-private partnerships to further strengthen the industry,’ it added.

While the green shoots of the UAE’s journey towards a cleaner future are already sprouting the four-reactor Barakah nuclear plant, which opens this year, will eventually produce 25 per cent of the UAE’s energy needs when it is fully operational seen in its cohesive entirety, the plan for 2050 is a remarkable testimony of human endeavour and a guarantee of a successful future.

The paper concluded by saying: “Such impressive goals now require the full cooperation and active support of all sectors within the country including responsible public participation towards making them a reality. Further, as exhorted by Shaikh Mohammad, other Gulf economies would do well to strive towards a unified Gulf Cooperation Council energy strategy that would not only help them optimise natural resources, but also boost the collective strength of the region.”

WAM/bashir