Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (Adwec) expects power demand in the emirate to double by 2015, and water demand to rise by nearly 45 per cent.

Speaking at MEED’s Arabian Power & Water Summit 2011, Keith Miller, Adwec director of planning and studies, said that demand for power is set to grow from 6,885MW in 2010 to 14,052MW by 2015 and 22,356MW by 2020. This represents a demand growth of 12.5 per cent per year.

Including Abu Dhabi’s power exports to the northern emirates, demand will increase from 8,563MW in 2010 to 18,532MW in 2015 and 28,188MW in 2020. This equates to an increase of 12.65 per cent per year.

The power forecasts have taken into account plans by Abu Dhabi to export more power to the northern emirates than it originally planned. In March 2011, the UAE president ordered new investment in utilities provision to the northern emirates.

The power forecasts have taken into account plans by Abu Dhabi to export more power to the northern emirates

In 2010, Adwec exported 1,737MW to the northern emirates. “While this doesn’t seem a high figure, when you compare it to the installed capacity of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority, which has roughly 1,300MW, and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, which has 2,400MW installed capacity, the power exported is significant,” says Miller.

In terms of water usage, Abu Dhabi’s demand of 649 million gallons a day (g/d) in 2010 will increase to 928 million g/d in 2015 and 1,046 million g/d in 2020. This equates to a 4.9 per cent rise per year.

Including exports, water demand will grow from 672 million g/d in 2010 to 1,007 million g/d in 2015 and 1,125 million g/d by 2020. The increase equates to a 5.3 per cent a year.

The 2010-20 projections represent an increase in the pace of demand growth compared to 2005-10. Demand for power in Abu Dhabi grew by 9.1 per cent a year between 2005-10 and by 12 per cent when exports are included.

Demand for water in the emirate grew by 4.3 per cent a year between 2005-10 and by 5 per cent including exports.

In 2010, 563,432 million cubic feet (cf) of natural gas was used for power generation by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority. By 2020, this figure is predicted hit 1,539,728 million cf.

However, this figure does not take into consideration Abu Dhabi’s plans to develop nuclear and renewable power projects over the next 10 years. Adwec predicts that if these projects are brought online as scheduled, about 1,094,306 million cf of gas will be used for domestic power and water production.