Dubai might pursue nuclear power

Emirate has embarked on preliminary study on emulating Abu Dhabi.

Will Dubai have one of these by 2030?
Will Dubai have one of these by 2030?

Dubai doesn't rule out pursuing nuclear power projects on its own and has embarked on preliminary studies looking into possible alternatives to neighboring Abu Dhabi's atomic energy plans, an official at Dubai's top energy body told the Dow Jones Newswire on Wednesday.

"We have two directions: one is with Abu Dhabi and the other is studying what we can do in Dubai by 2030," said Waleed Ali Ahmed Salman, a member of Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy.

"We study all options and want to feel comfortable about what things we can do in Dubai. The clear picture for us today is Abu Dhabi but we are doing pre-planning studies" for nuclear power in Dubai, he added.

Dubai is focusing on securing and diversifying its energy resources in the next two decades and in 2009 set up the Supreme Council of Energy as an independent legal entity, whose task is to oversee all matters relating to the energy sector. These include exploration, production, storage, transport, and distribution of natural gas, gas liquids, petroleum products, and crude oil, as well as services related to these activities.

The council is also concerned with the generation and distribution of electricity for public consumption, as well as production of electricity from renewable sources, and generation of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, notably for electricity and desalination plants.
Despite its petroleum wealth, the oil-rich U.A.E. has ambitions to diversify its energy portfolio away from hydrocarbons. Forecasts show the country's power demand growing sharply over the next two decades, far outstripping its current capacity.

Studies conducted by the Government of Abu Dhabi show that national annual peak demand for electricity is calculated to rise more than 40,000 megawatts by 2020, a cumulative annual growth rate of about 9 percent.

Through the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., or ENEC, the U.A.E. hopes to deliver additional safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the U.A.E. grid by 2017.


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