Moving Forward – Global Renewable Energy Map (REmap ) 2030 Study

REmap 2030 is a global study that individually analyzes each country’s potential for renewable energy and combines those results to arrive at a global picture. This roadmap provides a plan and realistic goals for countries to scale up renewables in order to ensure a sustainable energy future. See Appendix A

Some of the key findings include:

* The global renewable energy share can reach and exceed 30% by 2030 given that technologies are already available.

* Energy efficiency and improved access can advance the share of renewables in the global energy mix to as much as 36%.

* Renewables growth needs to take place across all four sectors of energy use: buildings, transport, industry, and power generation.

* The analysis shows that the deployment of renewable energy can reduce annual CO2 emissions by 8.6 Gt by 2030. Such emissions savings, combined with energy-efficiency gains, would be sufficient to set the world on a path to preventing catastrophic climate change.

The analysis for REmap 2030 found that a 10% renewable energy share is economically feasible for the UAE in addition to improving human health and the environment.

Several industrial processes including cement, ceramics manufacturing and food processing require substantial amounts of process heat as an input, presenting a significant opportunity for renewable energy integration. CSP systems are also an option (especially Fresnel or small parabolic trough systems) for higher grade heat.

Geothermal energy is somewhat more expensive than solar thermal since the UAE does not have a significant geothermal gradient potential, but it permits very high levels of availability as it is independent of the climate. Given this, it was also considered as a REmap Option for the portion of the renewable sources for process heat required in low temperature process heat applications. Deployment involves the drilling of at least two deep wells that are used in a closed circuit. Hot brines from the geologic formation wells are pumped to the surface, pass through a heat exchanger to recover their heat content and are then reinjected.

Three specific options for the building sector were applied in the UAE analysis for REmap 2030:

Solar water heating | cooking with electricity from renewables | district cooling systems.

Collectively, renewable energy is estimated to meet 29% while solar water heaters and cooling could provide almost 8% of the building sector’s energy needs by 2030 – especially considering that solar water heaters are already competitively priced and will become even more so as gas prices rise. See Appendix B

REmap 2030 options for transportation included: modal shift passengers from road to electric tram | modal shift freight from road to electric rail | passenger electric vehicles | plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Abu Dhabi alone estimates vehicle ownership at about 387 vehicles/1 000 people in 2010, with this number increasing to 581 vehicles/1 000 people in 2020 and 642 vehicles/1 000 people in 2030. Hence the potential for replacement with electric vehicles and hybrid cars is extremely strong. Pure electric vehicles have demonstrated their ability to operate in the Mediterranean climate through a pilot effort at Masdar City that has been operational for more than three years.

Public transportation has generally faced a slow uptake but the success of the Dubai metro in providing mobility is encouraging, with ridership exceeding 120 million person-trips. Furthermore, the Etihad Rail project has the potential for real savings in heavy goods transportation emissions and fuel consumption as compared to road transportation of such goods.

REmap 2030 estimates that 14% of passenger vehicles in the UAE could become plug-in hybrid or pure electric vehicles, 5% could move from passenger vehicles to electrified mass transit (trams and metro) and the Etihad Rail project could be electric instead of using diesel as planned.

REmap 2030 evaluates the potential of six renewable technology options in the power sector: Solar PV (utility-scale) | Solar PV – rooftop | Solar PV for RO desalination | landfill gas | wind onshore | solar CSP parabolic trough (PT) with Thermal Energy Storage.

Despite efforts to diversify the energy mix with large-scale renewable energy, clean coal and nuclear power projects; the UAE is still fairly dependent on natural gas for electricity and desalinated water. However, with the declining cost of renewable energy projects, utility-scale plants and commercial rooftop PV is the way to go to prevent shortages in the future.

Based on REmap studies, almost 40% of renewable energy power could come from solar PV, followed by solar thermal heat with over one-third, and CSP with 12%. Solar energy collectively makes up 90% of all renewable energy in REmap 2030, with the remaining 10% provided by geothermal heat, wind power and waste-to-energy systems.

Our next post and last post will feature incentives for companies to use renewable energy and the way to move forward.

Until we rendezvous again,

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