ENEC highlights nuclear energy’s vital role in accelerating decarbonization at the UAE Climate Tech Forum


- ENEC participated in an innovation themed panel discussion during the energy focused technology conference held in the UAE

- With three commercially operating reactors generating 30TWh of electricity, the Barakah Plant demonstrates how essential civil nuclear technology is to driving the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) showcased how the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is delivering energy security, enabling rapid decarbonization of the power sector and driving sustainable economic growth at the UAE Climate Tech Forum, held in Abu Dhabi from 10 to 11 May 2023.

The Forum shed light on an array of energy technologies that seek to resolve the challenges of climate change. These solutions include low carbon energy such as nuclear energy, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, clean hydrogen, and alternative fuels from more than 100 companies. The UAE Climate Tech Forum is demonstrating the country’s continued progress towards the clean energy transition whilst highlighting practical and progressive climate solutions.

During the event, ENEC’s leadership emphasized the continued impact of the Barakah Plant, a nation-defining strategic energy infrastructure project. Barakah is the largest source of clean electricity in the region, generating 30TWh of electricity 24/7 from its plant in Abu Dhabi to provide the ‘always on’ foundation for the Emirate’s solar plants, while in parallel preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions annually. Over the winter months, the Plant was generating up to 48% of Abu Dhabi’s electricity. It currently has three commercially operating units with a fourth near completion.

His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “Barakah has showcased a new model to the world for nuclear developments, presenting nuclear energy as a major force for decarbonization and grid stability in the UAE. The Plant is not only providing greater sustainability through clean electricity but is a catalyst for innovation in areas like clean hydrogen and development of new technologies that can take us closer to our target of Net Zero by 2050.”   

H.E. Al Hammadi featured on the panel ‘Fueling the Future: How will Technology Unlock the Energy Trilemma?’, moderated by John Defterios, alongside distinguished panelists Peng Xiao, GCEO for G42, Dr. Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Investments and Nicolas Terraz, President Exploration and Production & Executive Committee Member for TotalEnergies.

The panel highlighted the UAE’s efforts in spearheading technology adoption to accelerate decarbonization and creating the green industries of the future. It also focused on climate-critical sectors like renewables, hydrogen, climate-smart agriculture and STEM education.

Speakers discussed challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for securing global energy supplies that are sustainable, yet reliable and affordable enough to maintain socio-economic growth.

“The UAE has taken a long-term, realistic and data-driven approach to advance the nuclear energy industry. Faced with rising demand for energy-intensive datacenters, the backbone of the digital economy, we require sustainable power sources. Barakah is an example of an abundant and clean energy source that can support the digital revolution. The UAE has shown how nuclear energy can supply the constant, low-carbon baseload power supply that energy intensive industries need for continued long-term growth,” H.E. Al Hammadi said during the panel.

Panelists also considered how the convergence of policymaking, investments, technology and R&D can enable a well-supplied global energy mix with the lowest possible greenhouse gas emissions.

The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy ecosystem of low-carbon technologies, ensuring the sustainability, reliability, and resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years. The Plant demonstrates the success of the UAE’s long-term investment to diversify its energy portfolio, while advancing towards a Net Zero future through nuclear energy. Gas demand for electricity is now at an 11 year low in Abu Dhabi because of the significant transformation in how the Emirate is generating its electricity.

ENEC is now leading efforts in research across areas like development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), clean hydrogen and other clean technologies. Barakah provides electricity at all times of the day and night, sustainably powering the nation’s growth. Once fully operational, the four units of Barakah will provide up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs.