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U.A.E. Will Promote Renewables Investment, Energy Minister Says

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April 16 (Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates, the Persian Gulf state with 6 percent of global oil reserves, plans to encourage investment in renewable energy, the country’s new energy minister said.

“We are trying to create a strategy for an integrated energy policy that includes renewables, nuclear and oil and gas,” Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, who became a minister last month, said today at a conference in Dubai. Renewable energy “is the future.”

The U.A.E. belongs to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and is boosting its oil-production capacity to 3 million barrels a day. It also operates two solar power plants and plans a wind-power project. The country expects to have 5,600 megawatts of nuclear-power capacity by 2020, or about a quarter of its projected generating capacity, Al Mazrouei said.

The government should promote private investment in power projects and form an energy policy that unifies all the emirates in the seven-member federation, he said in his first speech as energy minister.

Al Mazrouei took charge of the ministry on March 12 from Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al-Hamli, an eight-year veteran. Al Mazrouei serves on the advisory committee of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council, which sets energy policy in the country’s largest emirate, and works as deputy chief executive officer of Mubadala Petroleum, a state-owned energy investor, which is helping supply the U.A.E. with imported natural gas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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