UAE to switch to renewable energy

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Dubai, Dec 24: The Gulf region will take at least 15 years in switching to renewable sources from conventional energy due to limited scientific know-how and practical applications, UAE has stated.

Undersecretary UAE's Ministry of Energy, Ali Abdullah Al Owais, said there was a huge demand for energy in the region and the UAE's energy demands also rose by 15 per cent from 2006.

Statistics have revealed that the world energy demand was likely to rise by 50 per cent in 2030, a rise of 70 per cent would be seen in the Gulf region.

''Nuclear energy is considered the optimal means to generate electricity power in the world today. In 2006, there were about 442 nuclear plants in 44 countries. The Gulf states have to make the necessary preparations to use this sort of energy,'' the Gulf news stated Al Owais as saying.

In a conference organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, he said Gulf Corporation Council states had adopted a joint programme to develop nuclear energy for electricity generation and water desalination.

The nuclear energy was expected to enter the Arab Gulf states' markets in 2025.

He added nuclear power plants were three times more expensive than building a commercial fossil fuel-based power generation plant, took over 15 years to build and could only provide energy for 30 years once built.

''It is important for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have a closer look at the future of nuclear power,'' Planning and Economic Studies Section head at the IAEA, Dr Holger Rogner, said.

Over the past decades, several factors had resulted in a reduction of interest in nuclear power but investors, the nuclear industry and governments are now reconsidering nuclear power capabilities as an attractive option, Dr Rogner said.

World Renewable Energy Network director-General, Ali Sayigha, however, stressed that the answer to the growing energy demand was to adopt renewable energy.

UNI

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