United Arab Emirates - Country Commercial Guide
Renewable Energy and Clean Energy
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to be at the frontline of the energy transition in the MENA region, underpinned by a strong government commitment and investments. This is creating numerous opportunities for U.S. exporters.

Milestones include: 

  • The establishment in 2006 of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and the first carbon-neutral zero waste city (Masdar City).
  • The hosting of the annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi since 2008.
  • The establishment of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in 2009.
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)’s designation of Abu Dhabi as its headquarters in 2009 and IRENA’s relocation on the edge of the Masdar City campus in 2015.
  • The development of strategic mega solar projects and UAE climate change action efforts, illustrated in the UAE’s ratification of the Paris agreement in 2016.
  • The designation of a UAE Special Climate Change Envoy and the dedication of a Sustainability Pavilion at the Expo Dubai World’s Fair, which ran from October 2021 to March 2022.
  • The UAE hosting of COP 28 in November 2023.
  • The announcement of 2023 as the UAE Year of Sustainability.

As President of COP 28,  Dr. Sultan Al Jaber’s mandate is to steer the COP process and facilitate consensus among Parties on the negotiated agreement for climate action. The UAE is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 and will activate the nation for a whole-of-country approach in the Year of Sustainability culminating with COP28 in the UAE in November-December, 2023.

According to Fitch Solutions MEA Power & Renewables Insight April 2023, solar power is expected to play an instrumental role in the UAE’s expansion of non-hydropower renewable growth, as the market has several large-scale solar projects in the pipeline.

In January 2017, the UAE launched the national “Energy Strategy 2050,” considered to be the first unified energy strategy in the country that is based on supply and demand. The strategy is very ambitious and aims to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%. It also seeks to increase consumption efficiency of individuals and corporates by 40%.

The strategy targets an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear, and clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and environmental goals as follows:

  • 44% clean energy
  • 38% gas
  • 12% clean coal, and
  • 6% nuclear.

The UAE government aims to invest over $163 billion by 2050 to meet the growing energy demand and ensure a sustainable growth for the country’s economy.

Among the seven emirates that make up the UAE, most of the renewables’ activity is concentrated in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which analyst predict will together account for more than 90 percent of capacity in 2025. Four solar projects, which are all at various stages of development, are expected to drive this growth: the Al Dhafra (2GW), Abu Dhabi PV3 (1.5GW), and the fourth (950MW) and fifth (900MW) phases of the Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) solar facility. The MBR plant is said to be the world’s largest single-site solar installation with a planned total capacity of 5GW when fully operational by 2030.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Leading sub-sectors in renewable energy are solar power, chemicals and derivatives, hydrogen, waste-to-energy, and waste-to-solar.

Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Mubadala Investment Company, and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA).  Masdar has announced a goal of achieving 100GW renewable energy capacity and green hydrogen production of 1 million tons/year by 2030. 

In July 2023, the UAE announced a strategy to invest $54 billion in renewables by 2030 as part of its strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050.


With multiple government initiatives, the country has witnessed significant growth in renewable projects in recent years, which include but are not limited to the following projects:

  • Hydrogen:  According to Fitch Solutions MEA Power & Renewables Insight April 2023, the UAE is focusing on developing a hydrogen industry large enough to make it a global “top 10” hydrogen producer by 2031. By 2050, the UAE aims to produce 14 to 22 million tons of hydrogen and hydrogen derivates annually. The UAE has developed a National Hydrogen Strategy and Masdar is expected to play a crucial role in the development of the UAE’s hydrogen industry. Masdar has already made headway in hydrogen production and power generation. Masdar aims to produce an annual capacity of up to one million tons of green hydrogen by 2030. To achieve this, Masdar has entered into partnerships with international and local companies to develop hydrogen projects. On Project Green Falcon, Masdar is in collaboration with Siemens Energy, TotalEnergies, Marubeni Corporation, Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group and Khalifa University to develop green hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels. Another key project is the Masdar and Engie cooperation on a $5 billion strategic alliance to develop a 200-megawatt green hydrogen plant for the production of green ammonia in the UAE.

Below are examples of other projects:

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is developing a pilot green hydrogen mobility project. The project is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to use solar power to produce hydrogen. The pilot plant has been designed to accommodate future applications and test platforms of different uses for hydrogen, such as for industry and transportation. 

The UAE company Helios Industry hired Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG to undertake a technical study for a new green hydrogen and green ammonia project in Abu Dhabi. Helios plans to spend almost $1 billion on the construction of this particular facility in two phases over several years. The plant will be built in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) where, at peak capacity, it will produce about 200,000 tons of green ammonia from 40,000 tons of green hydrogen. It will run the electrolysis process on solar power generated by an 800-MW facility. The project is expected to utilize Thyssenkrupp technologies, including a multi-megawatt electrolyzer for the first phase of the scheme. According to the announcement, this will be the first commercial plant to produce carbon dioxide (CO2)-free green ammonia from renewable resources in the UAE.

  • Solar:  Based on the ongoing project developments in Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels PVs will continue to offer multiple prospects for U.S. exporters. Concentrated Solar Panels (CSP) are another prospect and constitute the second-largest technology by installed capacity.

Desalination growth to meet water consumption needs creates demand for investment in desalination projects that utilize solar capacity. Dubai is at the forefront of deploying distributed solar capacity and aims to push generation and efficiency initiatives for households. 

  • Chemicals and Derivatives:  There are numerous large opportunities in services and exports for chemicals and derivatives manufacturing. The projects are very ambitious in scale and SMEs are advised to partner with major U.S. industry players as suppliers or subcontractors. 

The Ruwais Derivatives Park in Abu Dhabi is a designated industrial hub for the chemical derivatives sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It is targeted to become the world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex.  The Park is operated by Ta’ziz company, ADNOC’s 60/40 joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s industrial holding company ADQ.  The Ruwais park will also have opportunities in planning and construction of a new port, utility plants, infrastructure, feedstock supply and shared services. These facilities will be made available to new investors under a ‘plug-and-play’ concept, meaning that new projects can be plugged into the existing park infrastructure. 

  • Waste-to-Energy:  The first phase of Dubai’s $1 billion energy-from-waste project, purported to be the biggest and most efficient in the world, was inaugurated in July 2023. The consortium to develop the 200-megawatt facility is led by Dubai Holding and includes Dubal Holding, Itochu Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Inova, Besix Group and Tech Group.  The entire project is scheduled to finish by 2024 and will have the capacity to process 2 million metric tons of waste per year. 

In May 2023, EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company) and Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company (Tadweer), announced the receipt of proposals for the development of the greenfield Abu Dhabi Waste-to-Energy (WtE) Independent Power Project (IPP). Set to be one of the region’s largest WtE facilities, the project will have an expected annual processing capacity of 900,000 tons of waste, enabling an expected carbon emissions reduction of 1.1 million tons per year. The WtE project is also expected to generate enough electricity to power up to 52,500 households.

Waste-to-Solar:  The Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture between BEEAH and Masdar, has announced plans to convert a landfill in Sharjah to a solar farm. The company’s Sharjah Waste to Energy Facility, completed in 2022,  has an annual processing capacity of 300,000 metric tons of non-recyclable waste to generate 30 megawatts of electricity. Once Sharjah’s zero-waste targets are achieved, the facility’s adjacent landfill will be repurposed into a 120-megawatt solar energy farm.


Trade Shows & Exhibitions

Please contact us for additional information regarding trade shows, U.S. pavilions, and export promotion services that may be available for U.S. companies.

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC)

Dates: October 2-5, 2023

Venue: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC)



Dates: November 30-December 12, 2023

Venue: Expo Dubai Site


Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) at COP28

Dates: December 5-8, 2023

Venue: Expo Dubai Site