ENEC supports Electric Power Research Institute collaborate on report on decarbonization through nuclear energy


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a leading research and development organization, have collaborated on a report that outlines decarbonization pathways for the upstream process in the oil and gas industry with the use of nuclear energy.

While the global community is increasingly focused on reducing dependence on fossil fuels, these resources are anticipated to remain integral to the global economy for several decades. Fossil fuels not only provide essential feedstock for the chemical and plastics industries but also serve as a reliable, on-demand energy source for sectors where electrification poses significant challenges. Approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions are directly attributed to oil and gas production activities. Therefore, decarbonizing these processes is crucial for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and lowering carbon intensity of the upstream sector.

ENEC and EPRI’s report shows that the adoption of nuclear energy is pivotal in providing consistent and large-scale clean electricity and hydrogen, necessary for both the baseline power generation and for decarbonizing energy-intensive industries. These upstream processes including exploration, development and production, make up 62% of the industry’s direct emissions. Alternate, carbon-free resources like nuclear energy can supply the necessary electricity while reducing emissions. Additionally, advancements in nuclear technology, including Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), present innovative and viable pathways for a more sustainable and carbon-neutral energy future.  

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, developed by ENEC, has had a transformational impact on the UAE’s energy landscape, spearheading the rapid decarbonization of the UAE’s energy sector. ENEC is at the forefront of the UAE’s ambitious decarbonization efforts, particularly in addressing the challenges of hard-to-abate industries. Central to these efforts is the deployment of advanced nuclear technologies, including the revolutionary SMRs and microreactors, under the ENEC ADVANCE Program. This program is not just a leap forward in electricity generation; it’s a transformative approach to producing clean molecules like hydrogen, steam, and ammonia, essential in decarbonizing energy-intensive sectors. The move towards these innovative nuclear technologies represents a significant stride in the UAE’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050, aligning with global environmental objectives while maintaining sustainable economic growth.

EPRI is dedicated to addressing challenges in the electricity sector across the globe. Renowned for its scientific and technical expertise, EPRI plays a vital role in enhancing the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of electric power systems. Its work is crucial in driving innovation in energy generation, distribution, and utilization, with a strong focus on advancing clean energy technologies and environmentally responsible power generation.

Read the full report here.

Photo: the project team included from the right:

  • Sultan Abdulla Alshehhi - Research and Development Engineer, ENEC
  • Sultan Saif Alkhuroosi - Nuclear Research and Development Director, ENEC
  • Maryam Qasem - Strategical Partnership and Innovation Expert, ENEC
  • Ahmed Al Mazrouei - Nuclear Research and Development Vice President, ENEC
  • Neil Wilmshurst - Senior Vice President, Energy System Resources & CNO, EPRI
  • Zaid AlAnsari - Sr. Manager, Middle East Region, EPRI
  • Wil Smith - Sr. Advisor, External Affairs, EPRI