UAE's Energy Sector: A Significant GHG Contributor

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1357 Words
Date:  2023-06-07

From the article by Khondaker et al., (2016), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country, which comprises of seven emirates that are based on the Arabian Gulf. The country is among the leading producers as well as exporters of gas and oil globally. In 2012, the country's total oil supply was 3.2 million barrels daily. In the same year, the annual natural gas production was 1.85 billion cubic feet.

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In the UAE, the energy sector is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, which emits above 90% of the total GHG. The energy demand is increased by a high urbanization rate, fast economic growth, rapid population rise, and low cost of energy. The constantly increasing trend of GHG emissions along with energy consumption poses a significant challenge for the country. In this article, the following studies have been done: an investigation of the main sources of GHG emissions and energy consumptions, growth pattern analysis of the source categories, and the prediction of the GHG emissions under the reformed scenarios and the business-as-usual. Other studies that have been done are the synthetization of broadly varied initiatives of the UAE in mitigation of GHG emission, a highlight of the main challenges in deploying the renewable sources of energy, and a discussion of possible approaches to GHG mitigation.

UAE has shown significant progress in the different economic and productive sectors of the country in the last ten years, which has resulted in a rising trend across all kinds of petroleum products consumption. Recently, domestic consumers are more secure and conveniently use the LPG cylinders within their households, small industries, workshops, and restaurants. Additionally, aviation jet oil is also used widely. UAE has a strategic program of attempting the diversion of its sources of energy to a renewable one from nonrenewable sources.

Abu Dhabi has a plan of meeting its needed electricity generation capacity via privatization. The UAE is a country rich in fossil fuel energy, is currently having a focus on extra power generation to meet the growing electricity demand. However, the attempts of energy efficiency promotion are generally lacking. However, the Abu Dhabi authorities have undertaken a number of efforts aiming at improving the efficiency of electric power within its generation, the transmission and distribution mainly through the increase in tariffs. The primary sources with high contribution to the emission of the greenhouse gases within the UAE are power and desalination plants, cement industries, and the road transportation sector, among others. Consequently, various mitigation measures, mainly targeting the given sources, will have a significant contribution to reducing GHG gas emissions.

The article outlines some of the ways of reducing the GHG emissions which include: natural gas, switching to different fuels like biomass which are less carbon-intensive and waste obtained from fuels; utilization of dry kilns instead of the wet ones; kiln leaks repair; and capturing CO2 via carbon capture and storage. In addition, the other techniques in reducing GHG emissions are; adoption of grinding technology, production of cement from calcium oxide, kiln preheating, wastes procession in the kilns, and use of mill liners along with grinding media. Generally, in the UAE, electricity generation accounts for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, the government has taken several projects and initiatives to generate electricity from other renewable sources. For instance, the industrial-scale solar power plant.

The UAE has formed some goals concerning sustainable development in its Vision 2021, and it is focusing on energy conservation as well as water resources via initiatives such as; tariff reform, demand management, district cooling, efficiency and building standards, mass transit evolvement, and utilization of compressed natural gas. Apart from wind, nuclear plants, and solar, the country focuses on hydrogen power plants. With the help of British Petroleum and Rio Tinto, the UAE's government has envisaged creating a 500 MW commercial hydrogen power plant. In addition, to generate energy from waste, TAQA, which is an Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, has initiated a 100 MW plant that is expected to lower one million tons of carbon dioxide annually. As a result, there has been an adoption of clean energy technologies all over the country, with the UAE's green growth evolvement strategy being one of the initiatives that ended up putting GHG emission reduction at the core of every single development. Through the voluntary initiatives, UAE has then decided to promote green energy, facilitating green investment, evolving green cities, ensuring green living along with introducing green technologies.

2. Main Argument of the Article.

According to Khondaker et al. (2016), the UAE possesses one of the highest per capita petroleum consumption rates internationally, whereby it was ranked as the seventh-highest in the year 2011. The country has been found to have higher per capita energy consumption than the other countries in the Middle East and the highest per capita carbon emission globally. However, the GHG emission proportion from the activities associated with the electricity production source is not the same all over the emirates. Under the BAU scenario, it is predicted that the national GHG emissions from heat generation and electricity activities will attain roughly 95 Mt CO2- e by 2020. Consequently, the future deployment of renewable along with alternative resources of energy in electricity as well as heat generation, may significantly impact on national GHG emissions outlook. However, set plans, programs, and policies connected to energy conservation, enhancement in energy efficiency, energy awareness, and training will all play a great significant role mainly in shaping the future of GHG emission scenarios.

It is clearly stated from the article that, in 2020, the total GHG emissions are predicted to reach roughly 288.47 Mt CO2-e. On the average shares of GHG emission basis between 2000 and 2011, the contributions of the energy, agriculture, industrial processes, and waste sectors will attain approximately 266.09 Mt CO2-e, 3.05 Mt CO2-e, 13.79 Mt CO2-e, and 5.74 Mt CO2-e, respectively. Therefore, arguing that the energy sector will remain as the primary sector in terms of GHG emissions. Within the energy sector, the contribution of the primary source categories, which include electricity generation, manufacturing, transportation, fugitive fuel along with other fuel combustion, will be roughly 84.6 MtCO2-e, 99.60 MtCO2-e, 42.41 MtCO2-e, 30.7 MtCO2-e, and 9.9 MtCO2-e, respectively in 2020. Therefore, it appears that the outlook of GHG emissions of the UAE might not experience any notable change over the next few years, particularly the main categories' contributions under the BAU scenario.

From the article, it is assumed that the clean energy share will rise linearly, beginning from 2015 with the annual average rise of the clean energy's share being approximated as 3.4%. Also, under the reformed (RF) scenario, it is therefore assumed that the GHG emissions arising from the energy sector will be lowered by approximately 20.4% in the year 2020. Here, the total GHG emissions from the energy sector are also estimated to be 213 Mt CO2-e in 2020. Subsequently, the national GHG emissions are changed to 235 Mt CO2-e. The national GHG emissions increase between 2010 and 2020 is 33 Mt CO2-e that is only 16% of the national emissions in 2010. The other expectation is that the other initiatives of the UAE will lower GHG emissions in more sectors with the exclusion of the energy sector. Nonetheless, the influence of other sectors will not contribute much to the national GHG emissions outlook soon.

3. Reflection from the Main Argument

I agree with the main argument that the UAE's GHG emission outlook may not experience any notable change over the next few years since the country seems to have taken a few preliminary but still insufficient procedures or steps, especially on climate change. The author seems to have overlooked the ideas of climate policies. I would respond to the issues raised in the article by mainly considering outsourcing Centre for the Demonstration of Emissions Reductions (CeDER) which is a Saskatchewan-based validation and test platform under the leadership and management of SRC that offers real global testing, validation along with a demonstration of conversion technologies, emissions measurement, and capture and GHG reduction technologies.


Khondaker, A., Hasan, M. A., Rahman, S. M., Malik, K., Shafiullah, M., & Muhyedeen, M. A. (2016). Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector in the United Arab Emirates - An overview. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, 1317-1325. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2016.01.027

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UAE's Energy Sector: A Significant GHG Contributor. (2023, Jun 07). Retrieved from

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