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Sat 1 Sep 2007 12:00 AM

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UAE energy resources under review

Sustainability and the use of renewable energy are the focus of two initiatives announced by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Water and Environment.

Sustainability and the use of renewable energy are the focus of two initiatives announced by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Water and Environment.

Key initiatives included in the Ministry of Energy's 2008-10 Strategic Plan will focus on the development of the water and electricity industries and research into the use of renewable energy technologies. The plan incorporates 16 key initiatives, including a proposal for a nationwide regulatory framework for the water and electricity sector and the encouragement of private investment to further develop the sector. The Ministry will also review the GCC's study on water cooperation.

On an international level it plans to be actively involved in major global forums on energy issues, in particular the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The plan was drafted following the recommendations of the UAE Government Strategy announced earlier in 2007 and is aimed at protecting the country's financial and natural resources.

"Renewable energy research initiatives will be among the Ministry's prime objectives," stated Mohammed bin Dha'en Al Hamili, Minister for Energy. "The Ministry is vigorously pursuing efforts to gather the relevant information and statistics to support research programmes. We are keen on promoting alternative energy resources as an essential prerequisite for sustainable development," he added.

The Ministry of Water and Environment has also announced a three-year plan that will focus on water desalination and environmental consciousness. The plan mirrors the UAE strategy and includes initiatives that focus on environmental security and the development of natural resources to promote sustainable development within the Emirates.

Initiatives to be undertaken include environmental inspection; the issuance of certificates recognising environmental performance; and fines for violations of environmental guidelines.

In water treatment and development, the Ministry intends to develop the skills of UAE nationals in addition to creating an awareness of rational water use. Over the next three years the Ministry will focus on reducing the use of groundwater and shift its focus to alternative sources such as desalination.

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