To be 1.5°C compatible, the UAE would need to implement policies to move away from natural gas in its power sector sometime between 2040 and 2047. Natural gas currently accounts for around 98% of total generation. This transformation would also require the rapid ramping up generation from renewable energy sources to reach a 30-53% share by 2030 and 95-99% by 2050, compared to the 0.5% share in 2017 (mostly solar).
A higher share of renewable energy in the power mix would help to avoid a future reliance on negative emissions technologies and reduce the risk of carbon lock in from fossil fuel-based generation.
The UAE’s carbon intensity of electricity generation would need to decline from 530 gCO2/kWh in 2017 to reach 0-40 gCO2/kWh by 2050. In its National Energy Strategy 2050, the UAE targets an increase in clean energy, including renewables and nuclear, to 50% of installed capacity by 2050. It also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70% by 2050.2
Key power sector benchmarks
Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS
- 2030 30 to 53% Renewable share
- 2040-2046 Zero emissions power
- 2049 95 to 100% Renewable share
- 2050 44 % Renewable share