What is the National Integrated ENERGY MODEL?

21 March 2021

Enviro Chat

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has announced the launch of its National Integrated Energy Model this month. Devised in collaboration with Khalifa University (KU) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the model aims to set out a roadmap for the country’s energy sector to follow over the coming half century.

As well as defining specific objectives and putting in place a system to achieve them, the model is also instrumental in creating a common framework through which all stakeholders in the industry can work together. It hopes to continue the UAE’s excellent record of pioneering new technologies and adopting best practices in the energy sector going forwards.

Concrete goals

One of the chief concerns facing the global energy industry at the moment is the damaging environmental effects of traditional sources of power, such as fossil fuels. It’s for this reason that governments around the world are introducing new legislative measures aimed at curbing emissions from industry, with the EU's BREF for combustion plants one such piece of lawmaking.

As a country that has traditionally relied on fossil fuels for both its energy demands and its economic stability, the UAE is targeting a transition towards cleaner forms of power generation and diversification of its revenue streams. This will necessarily include the addition of sustainable energy sources into its portfolio, with renewables already producing a significant percentage of the country’s energy mix today.

However, the Emirati government is very keen to not rest on its laurels and has targeted boosting its clean energy contributions to 50% of the overall mix by 2050. It also hopes to increase the efficiency of energy consumption habits in individual households and industrial institutions by 40% by the same date, as well as making safe, sustainable energy affordable to all.

Important partnerships

In launching the model, the UAE government teamed up with energy scholars at KU and renewable experts at IRENA. By leveraging the research capabilities of the former and the technical experience of the latter, they hope to create a platform for monitoring, assessing and evaluating the UAE’s energy performance in real-time, allowing it to constantly tweak its practice for optimum efficiency.

In this manner, both partnerships will prove to be massively beneficial to the UAE in achieving its aims, adhering to its National Energy Strategy 2050 and in setting the stage for the UAE Centennial in 2071. Meanwhile, the alliance with IRENA is especially encouraging for the country’s efforts at increasing the share of renewables in its energy portfolio, which is already leading the way in the Middle East when it comes to sustainability.

“Clean energy is an essential part of the future energy mix, which the UAE takes into account when formulating national strategies and legislations,” explained Sharif Al Olama, undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy. “We are sure that clean energy technologies, including hydrogen, have witnessed remarkable progress thanks to the use of modern technology, and it have become a major competitor to the traditional energy sectors.”

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