The latest data from Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (Adwec) shows that demand for electricity from Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) is continuing to grow, with peak load increasing by 6 per cent in 2013.

The main driver behind the jump in electricity consumption in 2013 was a sharp increase in exports to Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority and, in particular, to the Federal Electricity & Water Authority, which put an extra 15 per cent of demand on Abu Dhabi’s grid.

Demand for power from Adwea is expected to grow at a faster rate in 2014 and 2015, as a result of increased demand from several completed real estate and industrial schemes in the emirate. New major developments at Yas Island, Saadiyat Island and Raha Beach will all require additional power. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will also require a significant increase in supply as it commissions a number of major projects.

In addition, Abu Dhabi will be responsible for providing increased power to the northern emirates, following the order from UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan to Adwea in 2011 to supply them with electricity.

As a result of the predicted rise in consumption, Abu Dhabi will face a tightening reserve margin and may even suffer a supply shortfall by 2016. Therefore, it is vital that Adwea is able to move swiftly on the delayed Mirfa independent water and power project and has contingency plans to ensure it does not face an electricity shortage in as little as two years’ time.