Following on the heels of the UAE World Future Energy Summit, the United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei announced that his office would develop an action plan focused on decreasing individual consumption and maximizing the country’s energy mix by 2030. The initiative will involve officials from the UAE’s water, electricity, and nuclear energy authorities. Additionally, the government has called upon experts from Masdar City, an experimental community near Abu Dhabi that operates entirely on renewables and boasts a zero carbon footprint.
The initiative comes as a response to reports that the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region have increased their consumption of locally drilled oil and gas in recent years. Unfortunately, the combination of high incomes with this inexpensive fuel source has given citizens little incentive to change their energy consumption habits. However, experts state that the price of electricity in the UAE will rise at a rate of nearly 9 percent every year through 2020, an adjustment they believe will begin to sway public behavior. Officials also hope that shifting global perceptions of consumption and increased investment in clean-energy infrastructural projects will catalyze changes across the country.