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U N I T E D A R A B E M I R AT E S Y E A R B O O K 2 0 0 8

The current total capacity for electricity production in the UAE is around 16,670 MW compared to 9600 MW in 2001. Industry estimates expect the capacity to rise by 60 per cent to almost 26,000 MW by 2010.

on electricity and water supply in the UAE and considerable effort, including heavy investment in power generation and water desalination, is being expended to meet the burgeoning demand.

The UAE consumes more than 3.2 billion cubic metres of water every year and is near the top of the global index for the highest water consumption per capita. At a conservatively estimated minimum of 10 per cent per annum until 2010, the UAE has the highest projected increase in demand within the GCC region. Most of the UAE’s water is produced by desalination, usually in conjunction with power generation, and older plants are being expanded and new plants are being built to meet the enormous demand.

The current total capacity for electricity production in the UAE is around 16,670 MW compared to 9600 MW in 2001. Industry estimates expect the capacity to rise by 60 per cent to almost 26,000 MW by 2010. Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) accounts for the bulk of capacity, followed by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), and the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA). At present, each service provider operates as a separate entity but a common federal framework for the water and electricity sector is under study by the Ministry of Energy.

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The need for power and water is in turn pushing up demand for natural gas to fire most of the power and desalination plants. In July 2007 the Emirates began importing gas from Qatar through the new Dolphin pipeline. The next step is to carefully ramp up production until the targeted pipeline throughput of 2 billion standard cubic feet per day is reached in early 2008.

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IWPP non-IWPP

Abu Dhabi IWPP and non-IWPP electricity in gross megawatt.

The increasing demand has also brought a new awareness of the need for diversification of energy resources. While power generation from renewable energy sources is still relatively uncommon in the Middle East, the number of pilot projects, hybrid plants and renewable energy research areas is on the increase. Progress has also been made in deliberations on a proposed GCC common nuclear programme for peaceful purposes and on-going discussions are taking place with the International Atomic Energy Agency in the framework of the 'Jabir summit’ held in Riyadh in December 2006.

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