The UAE’s Energy Ministry has created five new directorates to increase its mandate over energy conservation, clean energy and other policy areas, the energy minister has announced.

The five new directorates will be responsible for: conservation of energy and efficiency; the UAE’s participation in international organisations; clean energy and climate change; organisation and development; and crisis management.

“We changed the mandate of the ministry to deal with new challenges facing the energy sector of the whole world,” said UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazroui speaking at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on 22 September.

“[There is a] need for strategic planning to ensure sustainability of different forms of energy and to regulate the sector to incorporate new forms of energy like renewables and nuclear,” he added.

Al-Mazroui said the changes have been approved by the federal cabinet and the Energy Ministry will be hiring for 61 new positions over the next three years.

“We propose an organisational structure that is a large addition to the existing organisation – an over 60 per cent increase in the organisation,” said the minister.

The ministry has a policy of filling 80 per cent of its positions with UAE nationals and this will be continued during the expansion, he added.

“Today we are mainly reliant on natural gas but in [the] future we will have three main sources of energy,” said Al-Mazroui, predicting that nuclear power will make up 24-25 per cent of energy consumption and renewables will supply 5-7 per cent by 2020.

“Energy conservation is most important [aspect of the new mandate]. Average consumption per capita in the UAE is 2-3 times the world average and this is driven by subsidies,” said Al-Mazroui. We are trying to introduce measures to make sure this wastage is controlled.”

The minister said the government is trying to reduce energy consumption levels through several measures, including the introduction of natural gas to fuel cars and the development of mass public transportation.