Electricity demand in the UAE has continued to grow, despite the global financial crisis, according to figures revealed at MEED’s Abu Dhabi conference on 11 November.

The country’s power consumption in the summer of 2009 peaked at 15,426MW, compared with 14,385MW in 2008.

Growth in demand was strongest in Abu Dhabi, with peak consumption at 6,255MW, up 11 per cent from 5,616MW in 2008. Dubai, meanwhile, registered an increase of 6 per cent, from 5,287MW in 2008 to 5,622MW.

“The global economic downturn had little or no impact on electricity demand in Abu Dhabi,” said Keith Miller, director, planning and studies directorate at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company at the conference.

He said the 11 per cent rise was the biggest annual increase in peak electricity consumption ever recorded in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and it was even larger than the growth seen in 2002-2005.

He also said Abu Dhabi had increased exports to Dubai and the Northern Emirates by 60 per cent in the summer of 2009.

At peak times, Abu Dhabi exported up to 1,356MW to Dubai and the Northern Emirates this summer, compared with a maximum of 854MW in 2008.