UAE: First Arab Country to generate electricity from coal

The United Arab Emirates recently became the first and probably the last Arab country to generate electricity from coal. The coal plant, Hassyan is to be set up in Dubai at 3.4 billion USD. The capacity of the plant will be 600 MW. Later, the capacity of the plant is to be increased to 2,400 MW by 2023.

Why is UAE opting for Coal based power generation?

In spite of the fact that it is the dirtiest power plant, UAE is opting for coal-based power plant because the Hassyan standards for pollution is to be based on guidelines for Natural Gas Power Plant. This way the new coal-based power plant will emit less carbon. It is to be lesser than that of the standards set by the World Bank and European Union.

According to the International Energy agency, the power plant will fulfil 20% of its energy requirements of Dubai. Also, the electricity generated from the coal-based power plant is to be supplied at very low prices.

Coal based power plants in the Gulf region

The coal-based power plants in the Gulf region have been abandoned. In 2018, however, Oman launched tender for coal project. Later it was shelved.

How is electricity requirement fulfilled in Gulf countries?

Mostly Gulf countries fulfil their electricity requirements from gas based power plants. This is mainly because the region is rich in oil and natural gas.

Current scenario of energy in United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is currently transitioning from a 100% natural gas based electricity generation system to a 100% powered by solar, nuclear and other renewables. This is being done in order to reduce carbon emissions.

United Arab Emirates holds the seventh largest natural gas reserves in the world.

Solar Energy in UAE

It has a huge solar generation potential and its energy policies are gradually shifting towards solar due to its declining prices. The country is to provide 7% of its energy from clean energy sources by 2020. This is to be increased to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.

Nuclear Energy in UAE

As of March 2020, there was only one reactor operating in the country. There are plans to install three more nuclear reactors.

Carbon Emissions by UAE

The country is the sixth largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world. It has set a target of generating half of its electricity from solar and nuclear sources by 2050.


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