Nuclear energy ambitions near inflection point in the Middle East


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Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


Apr. 21, 2024

Bottom Line:

The UAE is on the verge of generating up to 25% of electricity from a single clean energy source: Abu Dhabi’s $20 billion Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which fully connected to the national electricity grid in March 2024 as its fourth (and final) reactor unit successfully commenced startup operations. As Barakah — the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear facility — approaches full operational capacity, the Middle East is potentially on the cusp of a long-awaited nuclear age, headlined by Saudi Arabia gunning for a controversial civilian nuclear power program of its own, among other developments. Crucially, this unfolds as the embattled nuclear energy sector could be poised for a global revival, creating opportunities for Gulf investors. Case in point: news surfaced March 29 that the UAE is pursuing European nuclear energy investments. 

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