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The United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the world’s largest oil producers and exporters, launched on Thursday the UAE Wind Program with a project that added utility-scale wind power to its grid for the first time, the developer Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC – Masdar said.
The program was kickstarted with a 103.5 megawatt (MW) project developed by Masdar with material science and aerodynamics to make wind power possible in the country.
The UAE Wind Program is expected to power over 23,000 UAE homes a year and eliminate 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing over 26,000 cars from the road annually, Masdar said.
UAE, which will host the COP28 climate summit in November and December, is keen to show the world it is not only an oil producer with a significant sway on the global oil market.
“For a viable energy transition, the world must triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goals. As we look forward to hosting COP28, today's inauguration shows the UAE's firm commitment to this target, boosting clean energy investments both at home and abroad,” said Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar.
Time will tell how successful a wind power program will be in a country with low wind speeds, especially as the wind industry globally is currently facing headwinds.
Europe and the United States, for example, risk missing their ambitious wind power installation targets as soaring costs, supply chain delays, and low electricity prices at auctions hamper development and lead to a cancelation of offshore wind projects. Government targets were very ambitious even before the perfect storm in the wind power industry this year. Now, those targets could be out of reach if policies and auction schemes don’t change, analysts and industry officials say.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,