How UAE is Addressing Climate Change With Technology
It is no longer news that the world is facing an existential crisis in climate change. This year has, more than anything, been a reminder that the effects of global warming do not just exist in theory. For instance, many parts of Europe and Asia have experienced unprecedented heat waves in the past couple of months. This, in addition to the increased risk of wildfires and droughts, highlights the urgency of the situation.
With this backdrop, it is apparent that the world must act quickly. Thankfully, one country is already taking the initiative – the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has shown outstanding commitment to tackling climate change and ensuring sustainability. To achieve this lofty goal, the country is exploring technology in various ways.
This article will consider some prominent ways the UAE uses technology to tackle climate change.
UAE’s Technological Initiatives
Waste to Energy Projects
Energy generation is one of the activities with the most significant carbon footprint in the world. On the other hand, waste exists everywhere in the world, often contributing to land and water pollution. This is why UAE’s plan to turn waste into energy is welcome. To this end, the Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC) and Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center announced an initiative to construct two of the Middle East’s largest waste-to-energy power plants. This initiative is intended to reduce waste while also decreasing CO2 emissions.
The new EWEC plant in Abu Dhabi is expected to power about 22,500 homes while also processing up to 900,000 tons of waste yearly. Similarly, the newly constructed waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah will power up to 28,000 homes while displacing about 450,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions while processing 300,000 metric tons of waste.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
Over the past years, the UAE has invested in expanding its carbon capture and storage capacity. This initiative mitigates climate change by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from large emitting sources like power plants. With this initiative, the captured CO2, which would have been otherwise released into the atmosphere, is stored safely underground.
Notably, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the UAE’s biggest energy company, can already capture 800,000 tons of CO2 annually. However, the company is also working towards growing its capacity sixfold. It aims to do this by capturing CO2 from its own gas plants. To this end, the organization is set to launch two large carbon capture projects at existing gas plants in Abu Dhabi. In addition, ADNOC has been working on making various strategic partnerships. For instance, in December 2021, the company signed an agreement with TotalEnergies to improve its CCS capability further.
Over the years, the UAE has increased its investment in the development of renewable energy technologies in order to reduce its carbon footprint. In this regard, the emirate has established a number of initiatives. For instance, the country is set to establish the world’s largest solar power plant with a capacity of 2 GW in the Al Dhafra region. Similarly, the UAE aims to further develop the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with a production capacity of 5 GW.
Notably, Abu Dhabi has committed more than $15 billion to renewable energy technology through its Masdar initiative. The initiative aims to develop and commercialize technologies across renewable energy, carbon management, and energy efficiency.
Undoubtedly, UAE’s technological initiatives toward a more sustainable environment are laudable. However, at this pace, the nation is still on track to meet its Net Zero 2050 target.
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