2014-01-24 22:04:18 - New Energy market report from Business Monitor International: "United Arab Emirates Power Report Q1 2014"
Our bullish outlook for the UAE power sector remains in place this quarter, as the UAE authorities at both federal and emirate levels continue to prioritise generating capacity expansion programmes. Although we question whether targets will be met with the anticipated speed, the government and its parastatal utilities are doing most things right, with the country expanding its electricity mix to include a wider range of fuel sources, spanning from traditional steam and gas turbines to carbon-light technologies, such as renewables and nuclear.
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The UAE is not without its challenges. However, it is seen as one of the more stable Gulf states over the long term, with a small, wealthy population; no history of terrorism;
and no sectarian tensions to speak of. Additionally, BMI's Country Risk analysts remain bullish on the economic outlook for the UAE as a wealth of data point to continued growth. With consumer and business sentiment looking positive, the outlook for household consumption and fixed investment is particularly bright over the coming quarters, effectively supporting plans for hikes in generating capacity. With more than US$8bn to be invested in the period up to 2020, the market is expected to remain highly attractive to regional and international developers.
* Several major players are vying for contracts in the well-established thermal segment, as well as in renewables and nuclear. Natural gas-fired generation will continue to fire the lion's share of generation (79.65% in 2022), as the country perseveres with fossil-fuel-based capacity additions with a view to taking advantage of its abundant and cheap domestic resources.
* Yet, new technologies are being developed in the country. For instance, state-owned Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)'s decision to launch a tender for the construction of a new 1,200 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Q313 underlines the UAE's ambitious capacity expansion plans, and we believe one of the most notable elements of the project is that it could potentially be the biggest clean coal-fired power plant in the Gulf when it is completed in 2021. Furthermore, with plans in place to deploy carbon capture and storage technology at the site, the captured carbon could be used in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), or utilised to produce biofuels. As a consequence, if the plant can be brought online, it would not only prove to be environmentally friendly, but may also help the UAE achieve a considerable return (by enabling the emirate to extract more oil) on the significant investment that would be needed to bring such a large-scale CCS project online.
* Similarly, the country's nuclear aspirations continue to take shape. The UAE looks set to have its first nuclear reactor in operation by 2017, and in November 2013 the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority said that it had a target of 12% of its electricity supply capacity to be nuclear by 2030. Abu Dhabi's Barakah plant will be the prime supplier of nuclear electricity, but a Dubai plant is also a possibility.
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