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Electricity in United Arab Emirates in 2022

Global Ranking: #109
18.1% #133 Low-carbon electricity
39.05 % #82 Electrification
1871.53 watts #7 Generation / person
404.86 gCO2eq/kWh #100 Carbon Intensity

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) relies heavily on fossil fuels for electricity, with gas making up around 82% of the total electricity generation in 2022. This extensive dependence on gas highlights the critical need for diversification towards low-carbon technologies to mitigate climate change and reduce air pollution. On the low-carbon front, nuclear power contributed around 13% and solar energy added about 5% to the electricity mix. Altogether, clean energy sources made up a little over 18% of the UAE's electricity generation, showing a growing yet still insufficient shift towards more sustainable energy options.


The UAE can further boost its low-carbon electricity generation by expanding its existing nuclear and solar capacities. Learning from countries like France and Slovakia, where nuclear energy constitutes approximately 65% and 62% of electricity generation respectively, the UAE can aim for a similar transformation. By looking at Denmark, where wind energy contributes over 50% to the electricity supply, the UAE can also consider increasing investments in wind energy. Furthermore, countries like Uruguay and Ireland demonstrate how mid-level wind investment can still substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Combining these insights, the UAE can adopt a more aggressive strategy in scaling up both its nuclear and solar capacities while initiating new wind energy projects to create a more balanced and sustainable energy landscape.


Reflecting on the history of low-carbon electricity in the UAE, nuclear energy saw significant growth in recent years. Starting from 2020, nuclear power generation increased by 1.6 TWh, followed by a substantial rise of 8.9 TWh in 2021 and 9.6 TWh in 2022. Solar energy began contributing to the grid around 2013, with a slow increase initially, but it saw a notable upsurge from 2017 onwards. By 2020, solar energy had added 1.5 TWh to the grid, eventually reaching 1.5 TWh again in 2022. These developments underscore the UAE's commitment to sustainable growth through nuclear and solar technologies, with significant milestones achieved in just the past few years. This trend illustrates a promising pathway towards reducing dependence on fossil fuels and enhancing energy security.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1985 to 2010 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 2011 to 2015 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 2016 to 2017 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2018 the data sources are IEA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the year 2019 the data sources are Energy Institute and IEA (imports/exports).
For the year 2020 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 2021 to 2022 the data sources are Energy Institute and Ember (imports/exports).
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