The UK’s PB Power and the US’ Nera Economic Consulting are carrying out a wide-ranging study into alternative energy sources for the UAE. The review comes at a time of rising demand across the UAE as each emirate rushes to boost its power capacity.

The long-term study will take a detailed look at the costs associated with combined cycle gas turbine technology, nuclear energy and carbon capture schemes. The client is the Regulation & Supervision Bureau in Abu Dhabi. However, several other state bodies will benefit from the results of the study, including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company (Adwec).

According to forecasts by Adwec, peak electricity demand in Abu Dhabi will rise to more than 14,000 MW in 2020, compared with less than 4,000 MW last year. Dubai is likely to experience similar demand growth.

It is possible the UAE will need a total of 20,000 MW of new capacity over the next 12 years – equivalent to 20 large power stations. Dubai currently imports up to 400 MW from Abu Dhabi and this figure is expected to increase to 1,000 MW as it strives to meet peak demand over the summer period.