‘UAE is an obvious choice to host COP 28’

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Dr. Al-Hosany said that she was talking to La Camera about the UAE’s role in accelerating the global energy transition…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE has become the global convener of choice for urgent international dialogues, according to Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, UAE permanent representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

This is especially the case when it comes to renewable energy solutions and the global energy transition, she added, noting that a natural next step in this direction is hosting the 2023 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 28).

In her article in The National, Dr. Al-Hosany narrated her conversation with Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, saying, ” he said something which struck a resonant chord.”

“When I first moved to the UAE [in 2019], I was not surprised by what was happening here, in terms of the modernisation of the nation,” he said. “But I didn’t expect the pace.”

Dr. Al-Hosany said that she was talking to La Camera about the UAE’s role in accelerating the global energy transition and securing a future of clean energy access for all, on the latest episode of On Renewables, the UAE Mission to IRENA’s videocast.

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“The reason La Camera’s observation about the pace of the UAE’s transformation hit home is this: it serves well to be reminded of how much our nation has achieved in such a short time, and how much we can achieve in the critical years ahead.

“We’ve become so accustomed to our achievements in the fields of renewable energy and climate action that we should not forget what those achievements are. Not only for what has been done, but for what can be done,” she said, adding that the UAE is home to three of the world’s biggest solar plants and it has become so integral to the UAE identity as an incubator of renewable energy solutions.

With 3.2 million solar panels installed across 8 square kilometres, Noor Abu Dhabi can produce 1.2 gigawatts of clean electricity, and meet the energy demands of up to 90,000 people. And soon, the Al Dhafra Solar Project, which set a record low tariff of US$1.35 cents per kilowatt-hour, is set to be almost double the size of Noor.

In Dubai, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which set the original benchmark for the world’s largest single-site solar park, spread over 77 square kilometres, has just seen the inauguration of a first-of-its-kind green hydrogen project.

“It is worth noting that these projects were made possible thanks to international collaborations,” Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany explained. “In the instance of the two Abu Dhabi solar projects, that’s with leading Chinese firms – Jinko Solar Holding and China Machinery Engineering Corp for Noor and Al Dhafra, respectively. And in the case of the green hydrogen project, it is with close technology- and knowledge-transfers with Germany’s Siemens Energy.”

And that’s just for projects at home. The UAE has been a pioneer in bringing clean energy to countries around the world. “To date, the UAE has invested US$16.8 billion in renewable energy ventures in more than 70 countries around the world. And in small island developing states and least-developed states alone, it has invested more than US$1bn.”

“Countries from the Caribbean to Eastern Europe have benefitted from the UAE’s mission to make clean energy more accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic circumstance. The nation’s leadership has pursued this model for good reason. What we see when we collaborate across borders is that costs come down, the economic opportunity goes up and society at large reaps the rewards,” she went on to say.

Dr. Al-Hosany said that having provided the headquarters of the world’s leading authority on the global energy transition for more than a decade, “the UAE is perfectly situated to host the world’s biggest climate change conference”.

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