H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi joins Dr Chris Keefer on the Decouple Podcast to Discuss the Promising Future of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program


His Excellency (H.E.) Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) joined Dr. Chris Keefer, host of the Decouple podcast, to discuss the UAE’s journey in the nuclear energy sector.

H.E. Al Hammadi gave his key learnings on how to deliver a nuclear program after the UAE became not only the first country to deliver a new nuclear program in 27 years but delivered the program on budget and within one of the most efficient timescales in industry history. He explained how the UAE began studies into the future of the energy sector back in 2006 to identify clean sources that support the nation’s growth and development. The UAE government chose to ‘follow the science’ – investing in both intermittent renewable energy projects and baseload nuclear energy, paving the way for the start of planning for the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the first of its kind in the Arab World. Al Hammadi analyzed why nuclear energy was seen as the right choice for the UAE.

“Nuclear has high levels of energy density, it is clean, safe, reliable and produces abundant clean electricity 24/7. This is incredibly important for guaranteeing energy security. When I was young in my career as an engineer, I learnt the importance of baseload (constant) electricity for the grid, as it provides stability that is critical for powering homes and cities. Nuclear offers all of that, whilst being commercially and economically viable. Today our investments in nuclear are paying dividends as we have three commercially operating Units at Barakah, with a fourth soon to be complete,” said Al Hammadi.

Dr. Chris Keefer complemented H.E. on the success of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program in delivering one of the world’s leading new nuclear energy projects, on budget and on time - particularly in the context of the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst Barakah already powers more than 80% of Abu Dhabi’s clean electricity, ENEC is now focusing on innovation and R&D in new technology development to accelerate the clean energy transition. The research includes a focus on SMRs and next generation reactors, and generating clean molecules – steam, hydrogen and ammonia, along with heat, that are needed to generate the energy required to decarbonize hard to abate sectors such as shipping, aviation and others.

H.E. Al Hammadi added: “Net Zero by 2050 without nuclear energy is impossible. More and more countries are realizing this and COP28 in the UAE in November will be a great opportunity to showcase the success of nuclear, based on science, facts and data. Clean electricity from Barakah is enabling us to now innovate in areas like clean hydrogen. I see the opportunity to provide higher temperature steam to the chemical industry. Moving forward, we will continue to help other countries through our knowledge and talent to drive decarbonization of the energy sector and collectively meet the climate change and energy security challenge.”

Decouple Media provides a popular series of video and audio podcasts focusing on the future of energy, technology and climate change. Listen to the podcast recording here: https://youtu.be/6vtc3fD_jvc