Electricity demand in Abu Dhabi is expected to more than triple by 2030 driven by oil, gas and industrial megaprojects and demand from population growth, according to Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (Adwec).

Peak demand in the emirate is forecast to increase to about 28,000MW in 2030, up from 8,278MW this year, says Einar al-Hareeri, head of electricity demand forecasting at Adwec.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is set to be the biggest driver of demand in the medium-term, increasing its share of Adwec’s supply to 20 per cent by 2020 from just 6 per cent currently.

The increase in demand from Adnoc comes largely from megaprojects such as the expansion of the Ruwais refinery and the development of the Shah sour gas field being carried out by the company’s subsidiaries.

After 2015, growth in electricity demand will be underpinned by residential, commercial and non-oil industrial projects, said al-Hareeri, speaking at the MEED Abu Dhabi 2012 conference on 20 November.

Residential projects such as Al-Falah Community, North Al-Wathba, Al-Watani Residential to house the emirate’s booming population and industrial schemes at Khalifa Port, Emirates Steel Industries (ESI) and Abu Dhabi National Chemicals Company (Chemaweyaat) will fuel growth after 2015.

“An average of 55 per cent of the demand growth forecast [to 2030] is connected to population growth,” said Al-Hareeri.

In 2012, peak electricity demand in the Abu Dhabi region was 5,177MW with a growth rate of 9.1 per cent, while the Al-Ain region peaked at 2,053MW with a growth rate of 8.8 per cent driven by population growth. Al-Gharbia, or the Western Region, was flat at 1,330MW, but is expected to overtake Al-Ain in the coming years as oil, gas and chemicals megaprojects come on stream.