Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will invest $35 billion to diversify energy sources and reduce dependence on imports of natural gas, an official said on Sunday.
Speaking at the eighth Exhibition of Electrical Industries in the Arab World, the UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei said the country aims to reduce its dependence on imported natural gas from 100 percent to 70 percent by 2020, Xinhua news agency reported. The Gulf state, which is a major oil supplier, meets an ample share of its gas needs from Qatar, the world’s third biggest natural gas supplier.
The minister stressed the importance of rationalising energy use, adding that there is a generation now with a culture of conservation. Built in the Abu Dhabi desert, Shams solar power station, one of the world’s biggest solar power plants, generating 100MW of power, was launched in March 2013. More solar plants are also currently being built in Dubai. Mazrouei said the UAE continues to increase its oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017, pointing out that there is no delay in this due to the fall in the price of crude oil.