Following the completion of tests on two geothermal wells at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, ADNOC and the National Central Cooling Company PJSC (Tabreed) declared a breakthrough in the first project in the Gulf area to use geothermal energy.
UAE’s Efforts To Propel Geothermal Energy
The project will decarbonize building cooling in Masdar City, diversify the UAE’s energy mix, and help the UAE National Energy Strategy 2050, which seeks to increase renewable energy capacity to 14 GW by 2030. The project is supported by ADNOC’s initial $15 billion contribution to low-carbon solutions and the Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy and UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
The geothermal wells produced hot water at temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Celsius (oC) and approximately 100 liters per second (l/s) flow rates. The hot water generated by the heat from the wells will then pass through an absorption cooling system to produce chilled water, which will then be supplied to Tabreed’s district cooling network at Masdar City, accounting for 10% of its cooling needs.
Musabbeh Al Kaabi, the Executive Director for Carbon Solutions and International Growth at ADNOC shared that the company is currently working on projects to make and use cutting-edge climate technology and low-carbon solutions. These efforts back up their ambitious plan to reach net zero emissions by 2045 and speed up the process of decarbonization.
Al Kaabi emphasized that the potential for consistent and continuous electricity generation makes geothermal heat a potential clean and sustainable energy source in the UAE. He emphasized that geothermal energy has not yet been fully used despite being abundant. Nonetheless, ADNOC and Tabreed have effectively tapped into this energy source by using technical breakthroughs. This accomplishment represents a big step toward the decarbonization of one of the most energy-intensive industries in the nation.
At the moment, building cooling takes up most of the UAE’s power use. Since district cooling uses about 50% less energy than typical cooling techniques, it is more eco-friendly. Using geothermal heat for district cooling operations might minimize its reliance on grid electricity for cooling.
Khalid Al Marzooqi, the CEO of Tabreed, shared that adding geothermal energy to its district cooling operations is an important step in the UAE’s plan to expand its energy sources and become net zero by 2050. He stressed how proud they were of their collaboration with ADNOC, which helped to advance their decarbonization efforts in advance of COP28. Al Marzooqi also highlighted that this partnership demonstrates its commitment to researching cutting-edge technology and exploiting renewable resources in order to meet the rising need for eco-friendly cooling solutions.
In the UAE, ADNOC is at the forefront of developing geothermal energy to supply clean energy for electricity production. Using the most recent drilling and power generation technology, ADNOC is also collaborating with a number of businesses to maximize the contribution of geothermal energy in the UAE.