The United Arab Emirates power market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% during the forecast period 2020 - 2025. The energy mix for electricity generation is dominated by fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, with the three constituting almost over 65% of the global energy mix. However, the lack of privatization in the power sector in the northern emirates is expected to restrain the development of the power sector in the coming years.
- United Arab Emirates has one of the most advanced power sectors in the region, with distinct structures and government policies that are favorable. The country has several upcoming transmission and distribution network projects including expansion and refurbishment of existing infrastructure. This factor is expected to drive the T&D infrastructure-related markets in the coming years.
- The country has witnessed strong growth in electricity consumption at an annual rate of 5.5% over the past five years. The growing consumption is mainly driven by strong economic activity, rising population, infrastructure development, and industrialization. At the same time, the government is also committed to reducing the transmission and distribution losses by improving the efficiency of the grid.
- Nuclear and waste-to-energy projects are gradually gaining momentum in the country apart from solar power, which, in turn, is expected to create an ample opportunity for the power sector as new projects.
Key Market Trends
Growth in Renewable Energy Sector to Drive the Market
- United Arab Emirates has undertaken significant strides over the past several years and is leading the region’s drive toward renewable energy, particularly in the solar sector. To meet rising demand, the country has embarked on a challenging mission to increase energy security, diversify its energy sources, and increase the share of solar in its power mix.
- UAE has proven that it holds some of the best solar resources in the world while supporting economic and regulatory policies that have helped its clean energy program to excel. A contributing factor is an access to affordable finance.
- In addition to conventional project financing, the sector is seeing financial innovation to help facilitate and provide the investments required in the long term, including the AED 100 billion Dubai Green Fund, which will support the Shams Dubai initiative, a program aimed at facilitating the installation of rooftop solar panels.
- Additionally, ‘UAE Energy Strategy 2050’ targets to increase the contribution of clean energy in the overall national energy mix of the country to 50% by 2050, resulting in savings of approximately USD 190 billion of overall energy costs. As for its global efforts in this field, and driven by its commitment to climate change mitigation, UAE also announced joining of the International Solar Alliance, which aims to help developing countries harness 1,000 GW of solar by 2030.
- Therefore, with the targets and policies set in place, the renewable energy sector in the UAE is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.
Growing Electricity Demand to Drive the Market
- United Arab Emirates with nearly 16,622 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity and 14,788 MW of peak demand in 2017, Abu Dhabi ranks first among the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and third among GCC countries in terms of generation assets and peak demand.
- Abu Dhabi’s rising population and growing economy have been the key factors driving the increase in peak demand, which grew by an average of 8.53% per year between 2007 and 2018.
- The Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO) expects the compounded future annual growth rate of peak demand to be 3.5% for the period 2016- 2030, significantly lower than the actual increase in the past 10 years.
- The electricity peak demand including supplies to Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates is projected to increase from 14.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2016 to 20 GW-26 GW by 2030.
United Arab Emirates power market is consolidated. Some of the key players are Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), ACWA Power, Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company (Transco), and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Honeywell International Inc.
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