The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has issued the ‘2020 Annual Technical Report for Water, Wastewater, and Electricity Sectors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’, as part of its role as the regulatory entity tasked with monitoring and enhancing the energy sector’s performance in the emirate.
The objective of the report is to enable the sector to play a significant role in driving energy transition, enhance efficiency, and ensure security of supply, all while contributing to socio-economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The report features performance indicators for water, electricity, wastewater and recycled water, health, safety, and environment. It explores productivity rates, developments that have transformed these sectors, demand, transmission and distribution, and power grid performance, in addition to identifying licensees in each sector.
The report was developed based on regulatory documents submitted to the DoE by licensed companies operating in each sector in the emirate over the course of last year.
DoE Chairman His Excellency Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar said: “Guided by the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy continues to record high energy efficiency rates and drive sustainable economic growth. We are committed to developing policies and regulations to enhance performance on every level, in collaboration with licensed entities across the UAE.”
“The report highlights the sector’s transparent approach and underlines the achievements that were made over the course of a challenging year, where the energy sector demonstrated its agility and its readiness to address challenges,” H.E. Al Marar added.
For his part, H.E. Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Belajer Al Rumaithi, DoE Undersecretary, said: “The energy sector delivered a great performance despite the challenging global developments, living up to its responsibility and commitment to supporting the government in its effort to advance sustainability across all sectors. The report highlights the achievements of the past year, offering insights that can be leveraged for future action. It also supports our plans to develop a framework for collaborating with Abu Dhabi’s largest energy companies, and inspires us to develop practical solutions to future challenges.”
The report reveals that water demand in 2020 peaked at 3.80 million cubic metres per day (MCMD) (836 million imperial gallons per day, MIGD), while average demand for water throughout 2020 remained relatively stable, only registering a 2% increase from 2019. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi accounted for 89% of peak demand with 3.37 MCMD (742 MIGD) while the Northern Emirates accounted for 11% of peak demand with 0.4 MCMD (94 MIGD).
Total water production capacity was 4.14 MCMD (910 MIGD), while the total amount of water produced stood at 1.225 MCMD (269.475 MIGD) in 2020. This averages to 3.35 MCM (732 MIG) of water produced per day.
According to the report, the total number of tests completed by Independent Water and Power Providers (IWPPs) in 2020 was 51.158, with 64 water quality parameters assessed for Reverse Osmosis (RO) facilities, and 51 parameters for thermal desalination plants. Overall water quality testing frequency compliance (measure of the number of tests conducted against those required) for the production companies was 99.79%. Meanwhile, overall average water quality compliance for 2020 was 99.95%, with Physical Parameters and Microbial Parameters compliance at 99.91% and 100%, respectively.
In terms of water production, capacity shares vary between the nine IWPPs with market shares ranging from 5 to 18%. Nearly 18% of the overall water production share is with Taweelah Asia Power Company (TAPCO). This is followed by Emirates SembCorp Water and Power Company (ESWPC) and Fujairah Asia Power Company (FAPCO), with a 15% and 14% share, respectively, in 2020.
Additionally, Multi-Stage Flash Distillation (MSF) production capacity decreased, mainly due to the retirement of water capacity at Arabian Power Company Umm Al Nar (APC UAN) East and West in 2019. RO desalination contribution is anticipated to significantly grow in the coming years; the Taweelah RO Independent Water Plant (IWP) will increase total RO production capacity by 0.91 MCMD (200 MIGD) when completed in 2022.
Demand for electricity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi continued to grow in 2020, driven by a slight increase in system demand and a higher increase in demand resulting from exports to the Northern Emirates, also known as “global electricity demand”. Global electricity demand in Abu Dhabi peaked at 16,040 MW on July 20, 2020. The emirate itself recorded a peak of 11,730 MW on June 18 with Abu Dhabi system peak reaching 11,757 MW. Exports to the Northern Emirates peaked at 4,451 MW on July 16.
Abu Dhabi’s energy sector has a total available electricity generation capacity of 16,701 MW while the total electricity generated was 84,740 GWh.
Peak demand load at Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) grew by 8% from 2019 to reach 6,568 MW in 2020, while that of Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC) grew by 2.9% to reach 2,444 MW.
There are 14 power providers with electricity generation market shares ranging from 0.05% up to 13% in 2020. TAPCO, APC, and Gulf Total Tractebel Power Company (GTTPC) have the largest market share at 13% each.
Renewables from Shams Solar Power Station and Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Plant accounted for around 2.71% of the energy mix in Abu Dhabi, while Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) accounted for the largest share of 86.48%, followed by Co-gen and OCGT at 11.16%. The share of clean energy will continue to grow in the coming years with the addition of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The plant will have four APR1400 reactors, adding a total of 5,600 GW of renewable energy to the grid when fully operational.
The report goes on to state that 74,979 km is the length of cable/overhead lines allocated to distribute electricity. While the number of distribution substations stood at 36,650, whereas the number of primary substations was 474. Meanwhile, the water distribution network reached a total length of 14,146 Km, in addition to including 40 Pumping Stations.
Natural Gas remained the predominant fuel type used within the sector to generate electricity and produce water in Abu Dhabi. Both Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Dolphin Energy Limited (DEL) continued supplying the sector with natural gas throughout the year without the need to burn any back-up fuel on top of the regular amounts used to carry out operational tests to maintain the liquid fuel supply system on standby if needed. Both ADNOC and DEL delivered around 782,755,804 MBTU of natural gas to the sector, which is 1.7% less than last year.
In 2020, the Abu Dhabi Sewerage and Services Company (ADSSC) operated a total of 300 pumping stations, ranging in size from small local stations to large terminal pumping stations at over 300 l/s. Additionally, the total network length operated by ADSSC in 2020 was 8,706 km.
It also outlines that more than 60% of recycled water is used in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for irrigation purposes, while almost all of the recycled water produced in Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions is used every year. The total dry mass of biosolids produced in the Emirate in 2020 was 63,899 tons.
The DoE Health & Safety (HSE) team reviewed 149 environment reports in 2020 regarding seawater inlet and outfall discharge and waste management. Additionally, the CO2 emissions in the energy sector are monitored on a regular basis. Total CO2 emissions in 2020 stood at 41,669,199.61 tons.
District Cooling (DC)
In 2020, DoE received five licensing applications for five DC existing facilities. There are over 25 existing DC facilities in Abu Dhabi that will have to undergo detailed