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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Ras Al Khaimah aims to add 1.2GW of renewables to grid by 2040

The UAE's northernmost emirate launched green buildings regulations for new construction

RAK Gas, the emirate’s gas company, is in the middle of a licensing round, as Ras Al Khaimah looks to drive investment to diversify sources of the fuel, particularly for industrial use. Chris Whiteoak / The National
RAK Gas, the emirate’s gas company, is in the middle of a licensing round, as Ras Al Khaimah looks to drive investment to diversify sources of the fuel, particularly for industrial use. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s northernmost emirate, aims to add nearly 1.2 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity to its grid by 2040, almost all of it from solar, a senior official said.

"The majority will come from solar. There is a small part that will come from waste to energy," said Andrea Di Gregorio director of the newly set up energy efficiency and renewables office in the RAK Municipality.

RAK is a relative newcomer to the clean energy drive in the region and announced its intention to source 20 per cent of its power requirements from renewables and generate 30 per cent energy savings last year.

The UAE, which currently meets 98 per cent of its power generation needs from gas, aims to increase its clean energy use by 50 per cent and improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent by the middle of the century, allotting a total capacity of 44GW from renewable sources by 2050.

The emirate plans to have about 600 megawatts of solar energy coming from rooftop installations and another 600MW from utility scale solar, Mr Di Gregorio said.

RAK launched on Tuesday its energy efficiency programme named Barjeel, to ensure that new buildings will target 30 per cent energy savings and 20 per cent water savings with minimal impact on construction costs.

"Thousands of buildings are being developed in Ras Al Khaimah every year, and through Barjeel, we will ensure that these new buildings embed higher sustainability standards," RAK Municipality director general Munther bin Shekar said in a statement.

"A more efficient building stock reduces the costs for residents and businesses and supports the competitiveness of our economy."

The first phase of Barjeel will commence with voluntary adoptions for a year, with the RAK municipality incentivising early adopters by waiving permit fees.

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Read more:

Ras Al Khaimah set to add 20 per cent renewables to energy mix

Ras Al Khaimah launches new oil and gas licensing round

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"The first applications will be totally exempted and [the rest will see] decreasing discounts – 50 per cent, 25 per cent, 10 per cent," said Mr Di Gregorio.

"There is a scale of discount, so we want the first ones to come as early as possible and then everybody will get something during the voluntary phase."

While RAK's population is about 300,000, small compared with Dubai’s nearly 3 million residents, the UAE’s fourth-largest emirate is home to highly energy-intensive industries, including one of the world’s largest ceramic tile manufacturing facilities as well as a sizeable cement industry.

The industrial sector, which accounted for 40 to 45 per cent of the 5.3 Terrawatt hours the emirate consumed last year, is also set to be a main target of RAK's energy management initiatives.

The emirate meets its energy requirements entirely through gas sourced from the Dolphin pipeline that delivers 2 billion cubic feet a day of the fuel to the UAE from Qatar’s North Dome field.

RAK Gas, the emirate’s gas company, is in the middle of a licensing round as it looks to drive investment to diversify sources of the fuel, particularly for industrial use.

Updated: January 30, 2019 11:48 AM

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