Thinking About the Future of the UAE
- 9 October 2013
A salient feature of the UAE’s pioneering development experience, which has been the cause of envy for many, is that the country’s wise leadership always thinks of the future. The leadership believes in being proactive instead of waiting to respond to a situation and leaves nothing to chance in pursuit of its cherished goals that have been defined in various areas.
The UAE’s energy strategy is an example of this approach. Despite being a leading producer and exporter of oil, the country takes keen interest in producing nuclear and renewable energy. It leads global efforts in bringing attention to renewable energy as a vital source of energy. The country has set a perfect example by hosting the headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
This has not been a sudden development but is part of a vision and is developed through studies on the future energy needs vis-à-vis the country’s growing population, rising cost of living and an increased economic and development activities. This has especially been the case with the industrial sector and reflects the government’s keenness to maintain clean environment for achieving sustainable development objectives.
Addressing the 9th Community Forum on Nuclear Energy recently, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said that by 2020 nuclear energy would fulfill 25 percent of electricity needs in the UAE while 69 percent of its manpower would be Emiratis. Two main points emerge from this statement. Firstly, the UAE’s peaceful nuclear program is on course and is set to serve its master development plans in the most transparent and safest manner possible.
Moreover, the UAE is taking steps to build Emirati cadre specialized in nuclear energy and capable of taking up the responsibility of its peaceful nuclear program. This is part of the UAE’s strategy to train the country’s human resource base in specialized science and technology fields and also encourages nationals to take up positions that are critical to the country’s ambitions going forward.
Taking into account the vital role of energy in sustainable development, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) gives it a lot of attention. The Center organizes an Annual Energy Conference to discuss the various aspects of this issue. Nuclear and renewable energy have been the core theme of various conference sessions organized by ECSSR. The Conference has managed to build a rich knowledge base on energy in general, and nuclear and renewable energy in particular.