Renewable Energy Leadership
Partnerships between the UAE and US are driving advances in sustainability and clean energy technology. Emirati experts and officials work with the US and other international partners to strengthen cooperation around shared sustainability goals. The UAE is pursuing a groundbreaking strategy to adopt renewables. Clean energy will make up 50 percent of its energy mix by 2050, including solar, wind and other sustainable sources.
The development of a peaceful nuclear energy sector is a key component of the strategy. With the support of US partners, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will save up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year once fully operational.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is working with GE to build the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the world’s largest single-site solar project. At its planned total capacity, it will power up to 1.3 million homes. The solar park will use GE’s liquid-cooled solar inverters to convert solar panel output to grid-ready electrical currents.
Meanwhile, the Noor Abu Dhabi solar park, which began operations in June 2019, will offset the UAE’s carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 200,000 cars per year. UN Secretary General António Guterres visited the site after it launched, calling it “the kind of clean and efficient solution needed to address the global climate emergency.”
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has played a key role in the establishment and development of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which in February 2017 merged with the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research and the Petroleum Institute. The merger created Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a world-class, research-intensive institution that develops world leaders and critical thinkers in applied science and engineering.
The UAE is also seeking solutions at the global level. In 2010, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – an intergovernmental organization that promotes sustainability – established its headquarters in the UAE, marking the first time an international organization with global membership has been headquartered in the region.
The UAE supports dozens of renewable energy projects around the world – from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and North America. In 2019, UAE-company Masdar invested in renewable energy projects in the United States for the first time. In January 2017, the UAE announced a $50 million fund for renewable energy projects in 16 Caribbean islands. The Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund aims to reduce energy costs in the region and improve energy security. Launched in 2013, the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund supported renewable energy projects in 11 Pacific Island countries through the allocation of grants.