February 23, 2023
Green Exporting: United Arab Emirates
Brian Sturgess, Chris Hill, Jonathan Clayton, and Oliver Onteveros

The United Kingdom has made some progress in decarbonizing its economy but there is much more to do requiring substantial investment and public acceptance at a time of slow economic growth, inflation, falling living standards, political instability, tight public finances, and industrial unrest reminiscent of the 1970s. Meanwhile, companies involved in Britain’s green energy sector are being encouraged to export goods and services to enable the country to become a leader in low-carbon international trade. The Department of International Trade’s trade finance body UK Export Finance (UKEF) has estimated that Green cross-border trade could be worth £1.8 trillion by 2030 with the UK contributing around £170 billion of export sales in goods and services to Britain’s GDP by 2030.

This article focuses on the potential for green trade between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the official statistics total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the two countries was £15.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022, an increase of 31.0% or £3.6 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q2 2021. The UAE has ambitious plans to decarbonize its economy which provides an opportunity for British companies that have built a comparative advantage in the green economy. In 2021, UKEF provided a cheap loan of £31 million to finance the construction of a green headquarters for environmental firm Bee’ah in Sharjah, the third largest emirate. Bee’ah’s building will be powered by renewable energy, generated from solar panels and waste-to-energy systems. Designed by a British architect, about one-third of the value of the green contract is being delivered by UK companies, including design, engineering, and smart office services.[1]

Seeking Comparative Advantage


Most countries face two major challenges in moving to a low-carbon economy and eventually to net zero by 2050. The first, which requires considerable investment in generating capacity and the planned obsolescence of a great deal of still-functioning coal, oil, and gas-fired capital equipment is to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources. The second is to raise the proportion of energy consumed by sectors of the economy such as the transport sector, heating homes and water, businesses, and sectors such as construction away from fossil fuels towards more renewable or self-sufficient sources.

This transformation will also require an additional significant increase in the amount of large-scale capacity renewable electricity generated across the country and distributed through the grid as well as in the amount generated and stored by off-grid distributed means such as localized solar PV and storage at homes and businesses. The United Kingdom has made some progress in raising the amount of electricity generated from renewable. resources and away from high carbon-emitting fuels such as coal which is the main reason for the country’s relative success in lowering the carbon intensity of GDP compared to many other developed and developing economies. The United Kingdom’s emissions per $ of GDP generated at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates which adjusts for market exchange rate fluctuations fell by 65% between 1990 and 2019 compared to 23% in Japan. In contrast emissions per $ of GDP generated in the Arab world, including the Gulf and other countries, rose by 4% over the same period. The changes in the carbon intensity of economic activity over the two decades for the Arab World, the European Union (EU) and a number of large emitters of greenhouse gasses such as China, the USA, Russia, India and Japan is shown in Figure 1. 


Source: World Bank


Unfortunately, as the United Kingdom and other countries have discovered, success in raising the proportion of power generated by renewables has produced a new set of problems. One is grid instability resulting from the intermittency of the supply of renewable energy – solar and wind - which will require grid-level battery storage to prevent power failures. These issues were addressed in a recent article by the authors. [2]  The second phase of decarbonization, raising the amount of total energy supplied by electricity increasingly from renewable resources, to reduce carbon emissions of transportation, and buildings – residential and commercial, will exacerbate these problems but will involve many other hidden costs.  At an aggregate level, there is going to be an immense need for raw materials vital to the green economy such as lithium and copper. Investment firm Wood-Mackenzie has estimated that investment of $23 billion per year in new copper projects alone will be needed over the next thirty years to meet the net-zero challenge. Under its 1.5 °C accelerated energy transition scenario, Wood Mackenzie analysis shows that 9.7 million tonnes of new copper supply are needed over 10 years from projects which have not been agreed upon or almost a third of current refined consumption in order to meet the Paris Climate Agreement targets.[3]  Marcus Edwards-Jones, chairman of AIM-listed company Phoenix Copper confirmed the urgency of this to us, “copper’s vital role in the energy transition is undisputed, but there is a pressing need to invest in new projects to prevent bottlenecks and shortages. One problem is the information carried in copper price signals since the short-term price balance between the re-opening of China after its zero-covid policy and the recessionary fears in Europe and the United States are not yet reflecting the long-term demand from the electrification process. The recent recovery in the copper price is dwarfed by the rise in processing and capital costs. This makes conventional funding of new projects more difficult and ultimately will lead to a much higher copper price. Already we are seeing management going down the M & A route to increase production, rather than risking the wrath on the one hand of ‘short-termist’ shareholders and on the other of NGOs by embarking on new projects which take several years to put into production.”. At the sector level, there is also a need for investment in grid-level storage, solar panels, heat pumps and storage for homes and offices, and a nationwide infrastructure for charging electric vehicles (EV).”


The most difficult phase in moving to a low-carbon economy, particularly if a country intends to maintain its growth in living standards, given the positive correlation between real GDP and energy consumption, is the structural change necessary to increase the use of electricity, or other forms of energy such as hydrogen in sectors of the economy such as transport, real estate, minerals extraction and processing, chemical and other manufacturing, and construction. In a relatively slowly growing developed economy such as the United Kingdom, the increase in the use of renewables to generate electricity has occurred at a time when the economy has become steadily more efficient in its use of energy.


The total supply of energy from all sources in the UK according to the IEA declined from 2,581 TWh in 2005 to 1,891 TWh by 2021. Total electricity generated fell from 377 GWh to 310 GWh over the same period while the use of non-fossil fuels, excluding nuclear, rose from 3.4% to 42.2%.  But the resultant fall in carbon emissions so far comes from picking the low-hanging fruit on the path to net zero since electricity in 2021 still accounted for only 16.4% of the United Kingdom’s total energy supply in 2021 compared to 14.6% in 2000.

Now for the hard part since it has been estimated that electricity generation in the UK needs to rise significantly to meet the demand from the sectors of the economy still dependent on fossil fuels to around 550 to 680 TWh by 2050. This is if anything an optimistic prediction. If this extra generation is to be met mainly by renewables this will require in addition to the capital cost of wind, solar and nuclear, a substantial investment in the country’s housing, EV charging, electricity distribution infrastructure, education, and training. One important study on the hidden costs of net zero expects a direct bill to households of £410 billion, an average of £15,000 per household with an additional £56 billion cost of upgrading the distribution system (or £2000 per household).[4]

The United Kingdom, like other economies that have made net-zero commitments, will gain commercial experience, and create new skills in transforming its economy. Given the global nature of decarbonization, there is an opportunity to export goods and services where the country has a comparative advantage. China, the European Union and now the United States, under the Biden administration, are using the climate emergency to mould strategic industrial policies to favour domestic companies and help achieve dominance in green trade. Alongside the European Green Deal[5]and the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act[6], the UK has published a Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution[7] the costs and feasibility of which will be critically assessed in another article. Here we consider the activities in which the UK has export potential by analyzing the initial available data on the green economy from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) database. We used their Environmental Goods and Services Sector (EGSS) data which is produced in line with international guidance from the United Nations and estimates cover 17 economic activities ranging from the production of renewable energy to the provision of environmental university education. This database is discussed in some depth in an earlier article by the authors.[8]


Official data is available on exports, gross value added, output and employment over the period 2010 to 2019 in this experimental database. We used a proxy measure of a green activity’s export success, or its comparative advantage index measured as the ratio of export share to output share with a value above unity implying a relative advantage in export markets.  Only 8 of the 17 EGSS activities monitored by the ONS exported and some activities had a comparative value index above or close to one. This index can act as a guide to potential government policy to attain the aims of stimulating a green output and jobs revolution if the UK were to play a leading role in facilitating decarbonization across the world through international trade. Encouragement and support should be afforded to green activities with output growing faster than GDP with comparative advantage ratios more than unity. Nominal GDP grew by 39% over this period and only 6 of the 17 activities experienced export growth at a greater rate, but two of these renewable energy generation and water quantity management had very low values for the comparative advantage index of 0.14 and 0.01 respectively, but one energy saving and renewable systems had a higher value of 0.87. Therefore, 4 activities have been selected from our analysis of the ONS database that are close to meeting the dual criteria for potential export success, and these are shown in Table 1. Envirotech Energy Solutions and its subsidiary Envirotech Energy Management is active in all four of these sectors in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland providing products such as grid-level battery storage and Energy Stations for the construction industry and a package of measures to help developers build sustainable homes, as shown in Figure 2.  Using state-of-the-art management software Envirotech can install multiple technologies such as solar, infrared heating, battery technology, EV charging points, and thermodynamic hot water heating systems guaranteed for 20 years.[9]


Figure 2: Energy Station. 


Source: Envirotech Energy Management


Table 1: Export Data by Green Activity and Comparative Advantage

Source: ONS, University of Buckingham

It is widely recognized that two of the main barriers to exporting include lack of knowledge of market opportunities and finance.[10] One of the main means of government support for helping fund green exports is the role played by UKEF which provides access to export finance. According to UKEF, the agency has provided over £7 billion of financial support for green and sustainable projects since 2019. [11] UKEF helps foreign countries finance important infrastructure projects if they commit to sourcing goods and services from the UK creating new export opportunities for UK companies and supporting jobs. Recent funded projects include the provision of £217 million of financial support to a 1.35 GW solar project in Turkey, £31 million for the construction of a company’s green headquarters powered by solar energy and waste in the UAE, and £27 million for Aqua Africa providing clean water systems in Ghana using solar technology.[12] In the remainder of this article we explore the opportunities for British companies in the UAE, a country that is committed to accomplishing both phases of decarbonisation of the economy rapidly in the coming decade.


Decarbonisation in the United Arab Emirates


The spotlight of the world will be on the UAE this year as it hosts COP28 from 30 November to 12 December 2023. The Gulf Arab state which is also home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), also plans to meet a net zero carbon target by 2050 by increasing the proportion of electricity generated by renewables while also decarbonizing economic activity. Despite this commitment, the rise in the country’s population, the increased use of cars, and the construction of large-scale housing, retail, and office projects especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have meant that the UAE’s progress in decarbonizing its economy has been mixed over the last two decades.


The country’s economy’s carbon intensity based on World Bank data is more efficient than its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) neighbours at 0.28 kg per international dollar of GDP generated, 58% of the level in Oman, 78% of Qatar, and 87% of the level of Saudi Arabia in 2019 as shown in Figure 3, but this can be contrasted with 0.11 kg per $ in the United Kingdom which has shown more progress in the generation of power from renewable sources.

Figure 3: Kg of C02 Emitted per $PPP GDP

Generated GCC 2019



Source: World Bank


The UAE may be a regional leader in reducing emissions per $ of GDP generated especially compared to Bahrain and Kuwait, but its economy’s carbon intensity in 2019 according to World Bank data was still nearly 8% higher than the level achieved in 2000. Carbon intensity rose from 0.26 kg per $ in 2000 to 0.34 kg per $ in 2010 before declining to recently recorded levels in 2019 before the pandemic.  Furthermore, despite government and business efforts to improve the carbon efficiency of the economy total carbon emissions per $ of GDP in 2019 were still 82% of the level in 2010. The only country that has shown a significant improvement in the carbon efficiency of the economy has been Qatar, although generally throughout the GCC as Figure 4 shows little progress in the decarbonization of economic activity has been made in the last decade.


Figure 4: Kg of C02 Emitted per $PPP GDP

Generated GCC 2000-2019



Source: World Bank


Increasing an economy’s efficiency in emitting carbon is important for easing the trade-off between prosperity and decarbonization, but Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments made by countries require actual physical reductions in the volume of carbon produced. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) must decline by 45% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Before COP27 participating countries committed to revisiting NDC targets and the UAE has set a new 31% emissions reduction target below a business as usual (BAU) scenario in 2030. This would result in 214 million tonnes emitted in 2030 (excluding land use, land use change, and forestry), a 13% decrease compared to its previous target, bringing the volume of carbon produced close to the 2021 emissions level. [i] But there is a long way to go since according to the World Bank per capita emissions in the UAE in 2019 at 20.5 tonnes were among the highest in the world exceeding the United States, 14.7 tonnes, China, 7.6 tonnes; and the United Kingdom, 5.2 tonnes.


However, a major problem for all countries is the reporting and accuracy of GHG emissions data. According to Climate Action Tracker (CAT) [13] an independent research group, the volume of GHG emissions in the UAE “appear to have decreased between 2015 and 2020”, but they warn that there are significant data problems since the UAE’s “last emissions inventory dates from 2014, and there are large discrepancies in historical emissions reported by other sources, particularly for energy-related CO2 emissions.” The CAT tracks climate action in 32 countries responsible for 80% of GHG global emissions and rates the UAE’s climate targets and policies as “Highly insufficient” indicating its climate policies and commitments are not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit and will lead to rising rather than decreasing emissions. [14]


Electricity Generation


The first stage in moving to a low-carbon economy for developed economies is raising the proportion of electricity generated by renewable sources and phasing out generation by fossil fuels. In the UAE, the demand for electricity by commerce and households grew rapidly pushing up carbon emissions with the primary source of electricity generation coming from the burning of fossil fuels. Electricity generated from all sources rose by 244% in two decades from 40.0 TWh in 2000 to 137.3 TWh by 2020 according to the IEA. Over the same period, the population of the UAE expanded dramatically rising by 2000 from 3.16 million to 9.28 million, mainly because of immigration, although the most rapid growth occurred between 2005 to 2012 when the population almost doubled.


According to government sources, before the UAE’s policy decision to move to cleaner electricity the share of power generation from natural gas stood at 98% in 2012 with a total installed capacity of 27.2 GW[15] with the rest provided by oil. Since then, the UAE has adopted the policy of diversifying its energy mix to minimize the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels. In 2015, the UAE joined the Paris Agreement and at COP21 planned to reduce the share of fossil fuels to less than 76% in 2021 while the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 published in 2017 expected gas use to fall further to 38% by 2050 with renewable generation at 44%. [16] Unfortunately, the aim of reducing gas generation to three-quarters of all sources has not been realized ironically because of an oil-price-induced economic slowdown that affected output and government revenue in Abu Dhabi. GDP growth slowed from 2015 to 2018 with a recovery in 2019 followed closely by the impact of the pandemic in 2020. Figure 5 based on IEA data shows that although oil use in the generation of electricity in the UAE has shrunk over the period from 2015 to 2020 and solar energy has risen from 0.2% to 4.0%, the generation of electricity from gas remained high at 91.1%, although this figure will have fallen further by the end of 2022.


Figure 5: UEA Electricity Generation by

Source 2015 and 2020



Source: IEA


Despite Climate Action Tracker’s caution about the feasibility of the UAE’s objectives, it now aims to meet 30% of its power generation needs using clean energy by 2030 and 75% by 2050. This will require significant public and private investment, but unlike many European countries that are hampered by slow economic growth, particularly the UK, the UAE’s economy is expected to be robust in 2023 supporting investment and bolstering public revenues. The World Bank anticipates real growth of 4.1% in GDP this year as rising non-oil demand supports output and higher prices in the fuel economy following a strong 2022. [17]  These favourable economic conditions exist across the GCC as well as within the UAE could help the country achieve this diversification of the sources of electricity generation in eight years although the proportionate rate of transformation of electricity generation will have to be faster than the rates achieved in relative success stories such as the UK, Spain, and Denmark as shown in Figure 6.


In addition to beneficial economic conditions, unlike the United Kingdom suffering a living standard crisis and weak government, the UAE has the political will to push forward the transformation and is not hampered by an anti-growth planning legacy. Following a directive by the UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahya, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court has appointed Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as President-Designate for the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28). Dr. Al Jaber is the minister of industry and advanced technology (MoIAT) and has served as Special Envoy for Climate Change for two terms (2010–2016, 2020–present) and played a proactive participatory role at over ten COPs, including the historic Paris COP21 in 2015. He has experience as an executive in both the oil and gas industry and renewables. He led the UAE’s successful bid to host the headquarters of the “International Renewable Energy Agency” (IRENA) in Masdar City, with a mission to promote clean technology and sustainable development globally. As the founding CEO of Masdar,[18] he has overseen its mandate to accelerate the adoption of renewables within the UAE, across the region, and globally. Established in 2006, Masdar which means Source in Arabic, the Abu Dhabi future energy company, is set to become one of the largest renewable energy investors in the world with an ambitious target of growing to at least 100GW of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030. 


Figure 6: Growth in Proportion of Electricity

Generation from Renewables 2000 & 2020


Source: IEA


The main source of electricity generation in the UAE will be solar, but other forms will be invested in and major initiatives in all forms of renewable energy can be expected by the government ahead of COP28. In July 2012, the UAE began a nuclear energy programme with the construction of the Barakh Nuclear Energy Plan in Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi. In October 2022, the third unit of the UAE’s first nuclear power plant came online, increasing total capacity to 4.2 GW, and the last unit of the project is scheduled to come online in 2023. [19]The UAE is also exploring pumped hydro with the Al Hattawi storage plant which will store water from the Hatta dam in Dubai in the Hajar mountains for generating electricity during peak demand periods and is expected to begin commercial operations in 2026. This is expected to provide a capacity of around 5GW.


Conditions in the UAE are highly suitable for solar power generation shown in Figure 7 which shows areas of daily and annual output potential within the country. However, excessive heat and the damage caused to solar panels and mirrors by dust and sand will impact efficiency and increase maintenance costs compared to the use of solar in many other countries. The government has allocated large areas of land for solar parks (both photovoltaic [PV] and Concentrated Solar Power [CSP]) and capacity is planned to rise to around 14GW by 2030. [20] Since the Shams 1 solar farm started operations in Abu Dhabi in 2013 the larger emirates have begun several significantly sized projects which currently have already started generating electricity, are in the planning stage, or are under phased construction. These include the Mohamad bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai with a full capacity of 5 GW expected by 2030, the 2 GW Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer (IPP) solar project in Abu Dhabi, and the smaller emirate Ras Al Khaimah is planning a project to achieve 1.2 GW of solar capacity by 2040, of which half will be from grid-level projects and 600 MW from distributed installations.


Figure 7: UAE Solar Power Potential



Source: World Bank Group




The transition costs of electrification in the second phase of decarbonization are global problems and will impact developing as well as developed economies. At Cop27 the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan[21] estimates that a global transformation to a low-carbon economy will require investments of around US$4-6 trillion a year. For developing countries, it is important that decarbonization does not become a new form of the middle-income trap and COP27 discussed the need for a ‘new collective quantified goal on climate finance’ by 2024 which would account for the needs and priorities of developing economies. COP27 also agreed on a dedicated fund to address the problems faced by vulnerable countries in adapting to the human and economic cost of climate change and pledges worth more than $230 million were made to this Adaptation Fund.


The scale of the electrification transition facing some economies is illustrated in Figure 8 which shows the ratio of total energy supply provided by electricity in several countries compared to other sources such as oil and gas still dominating the transportation, commercial, and household sectors based on IEA data. Norway, where electricity provided 43.4% of the total supply of energy in 2021 is well on the way to decarbonizing its domestic economy despite its large production of fossil fuels for export. The country has made significant progress on both two phases of the move to net zero. Hydro, a renewable source of generation, provides nearly 92% of total electricity and the country has the highest proportion of electric vehicles (EV) in the world with 18.9% of the stock of passenger cars pure EVs and 6.6% plug-in hybrid at the end of September 2022. [22] In contrast, the UK, Denmark, and Spain, three countries with significant success in raising the amount of electricity generated by renewables have gone less far in transitioning their economies with electricity providing only 16.4%, 17.3%, and 20.5% of the total energy supplied respectively. According to the IEA, the number of electric cars on the road globally reached 16.5 million in 2021, but the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, requires an electric car fleet of over 300 million by 2030. The UAE and Saudi Arabia, countries with low levels of EV car ownership, and most of their electricity generated from fossil fuels have a long journey to make in both phases of decarbonizing their economies. In 2020, electricity provided only 14.3% of all energy supplied in the UAE.


Figure 8: Proportion of Total Energy

Supply from Electricity



Source: IEA, University of Buckingham,


UAE Export Potential

The electrification process in the UAE will require a significant expansion of renewable energy capacity mainly in solar and solar thermal to feed into the grid. A great deal of this will be provided by large projects which will require e orts to maintain the integrity and e iciency of a complex system with multiple nodes. There will also be a massive demand to generate, store, and if necessary, distribute solar electricity in homes and businesses. There could be significant export potential for British companies in these activities given the analysis of comparative advantage discussed above if there is adequate support from the government.


First, the intermittency problem of renewables means that to minimize the grid stability problems already facing the UK there will be a need for grid-level storage solutions. According to Frost and Sullivan total GCC demand for grid-connected energy storage is expected to be greater than 38 GW by 2027 as new renewable energy capacity primarily in the UAE and Saudi Arabia is expected to rise from 5 GW in 2020 to over 130 GW by 2030. [23]The utilities in the UAE have taken some steps towards using storage to balance the electricity grid to counter the intermittency impact of generating an increased share of power from renewables. The first grid-level battery storage facility twinned with a PV plant was installed at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in 2019 to monitor grid stability, but the UAE will have to treat storage as a unique asset alongside generation, transmission and distribution assets as it expands renewable capacity and its electrification programme.

The total investment required for storage depends on the technology selected and the level of distributed resources implemented. There are export opportunities for UK companies in this field if the government facilitates the necessary investments to tackle its own grid stability issues and allows the build-up of expertise.  RenewableUK estimates that the UK will need to acquire at least 30 GW of operational storage capacity by 2030. In Table 1 the activity environmental low-emission vehicles, carbon capture and storage, and inspection and control is one in which the UK has a comparative advantage, but this is a big sector including within it the production of EVs and EV batteries so more granularity in the official data is needed to understand the prospects for grid level storage companies. Unfortunately, as the collapse into administration of battery maker Britishvolt and the time taken to gain planning approval for essential grid-level projects, both national and local government actions in the UK have been decidedly inadequate. [24]


Electrification of an economy also requires that households and businesses generate power for heating, air-conditioning, EV charging and other uses reducing their demand at peak times while also exporting surpluses to the distribution network. There are three other activities in the UK green economy where British companies might gain commercial benefits from opportunities in the UAE: environmental consultancy and engineering, energy saving and sustainable energy systems, and insulation activities. The use of solar power at the distributed level in the country remains low although there are a few emirate level initiatives to encourage its penetration of homes and businesses.

In 2014, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) launched the Shams initiative to regulate the connection of solar energy to Dubai’s power grid encouraging households and building owners to install PV panels to generate electricity and export surplus power to the grid through a net metering system.[25] This is voluntary, but there will be a requirement to install solar panels on the roofs of all building in Dubai by 2030. Furthermore, to encourage investment in the sector at reduced interest rates in the emirate the Dubai Green Fund was established with capital of AED 100 billion (£25 billion). The focus of the Fund is on clean energy production, energy and water efficiency, sustainable living, green transport and logistics, green real estate, and sustainable agriculture. [26]


There are also solar-powered residential and commercial projects at the city level or suburban level such as Masdar in Abu Dhabi a sustainable city with its own grid powered by a solar park and solar PV on roofs. In 2019, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers also announced the construction of a sustainable city in the emirate powered by solar PV energy. This is a mixed-use development extending over a total plot size of 7.2 million square feet of land in Sharjah’s Al Rahmaniya Area comprising 3, 4 and 5-bedroom townhouses and corner units. [27]


Meanwhile, at the national level, the UAE government passed legislation in November 2022 to encourage the generation of renewable electricity by distributed producers with the intention of reducing power demand at peak times to reduce pressure on the distribution network.[28] A renewable producer requires prior approval from the relevant authority and the law covers the rules for the connection of a distributed production unit to the distribution network and a linkage agreement with the service provider.  It applies to all producers and service providers, including those in economic, free, and investment zones.



The British government intends to promote green exports and jobs and has helped fund several projects through its export finance body, UKEF. To evaluate the prospects for green exports we used official data on the size and growth of the green economy in the United Kingdom to consider the areas where British companies may have gained a comparative advantage based on their activities in recent years in the domestic economy and in exporting. We identified four potential activities based on the output and export data, but since this data is at an early stage of compilation the destination of exports by country is not yet available from the Office of National Statistics.


Exporting is hampered by market knowledge, official restrictions, and finance. In this article, we have tried to assess the potential of British companies in the United Arab Emirates, the host of COP28, and a country that has committed itself to a rapid transformation to a low-carbon economy. Given the United Kingdom’s experience of generating electricity from renewables and the issues it will face in the electrification of its own economy, we anticipate there is a significant potential for green exports in the UAE given the scale of the country’s planned transformation and its openness to international trade.


[1] https://www.energylivenews.com/2021/09/17/uk-backs-beeahs-new-green-hq-in-the-uae-with-31m-loan/

[2] https://www.envirotech-es.com/economic-landscape/reform-wholesale-electricity-pricing-before-the-next-crisis

[3] https://www.woodmac.com/news/the-edge/how-the-world-gets-to-a-1.5-c-pathway/

[4] https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/07/Travers-Net-Zero-Distribution-Grid-Replacement.pdf

[5] https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

[6] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/the-inflation-reduction-act-heres-whats-in-it

[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution

[8] https://www.envirotech-es.com/economic-landscape/the-thin-shoots-of-green-growth-

[9] http://www.envirotech-energymgmt.com/products/smart-homes

[10] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1099826/barriers-of-exporting-businesses-and-the-role-of-export-promotion-in-addressing-them.pdf

[11] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukef-provides-36-billion-for-sustainable-projects-in-2021

[12] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/static/business-uk-government-export-finance-aqua-africa/#:~:text=Aqua%20Africa%2C%20with%20the%20assistance,people%20out%20of%20water%20poverty.

[13] The Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis that tracks government climate action and measures it against the globally agreed Paris Agreement aim of "holding warming well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C." A collaboration of two organisations, Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute, the CAT has been providing this independent analysis to policymakers since 2009.

[14] https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/uae/

[15] https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/environment-and-energy/water-and-energy/about-uae-energy-sector

[16] https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/environment-and-energy/climate-change/theuaesresponsetoclimatechange

[17] https://gulfnews.com/business/uae-gdp-to-grow-41-in-2023-world-bank-official-1.92905795

[18] https://masdar.ae/en/About-Us/Management/About-Masdar

[19] https://www.enec.gov.ae/barakah-plant/

[20] https://www.thenation alnews.com/business/road-to-net-zero/2022/10/05/uaes-clean-energy-capacity-on-track-to-reach-14-gigawatts-by-2030/

[21] Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan | UNFCCC

[22] Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association). Retrieved 9 November 2022.

[23] https://www.zawya.com/en/projects/utilities/gcc-energy-storage-demand-to-surpass-38-gigawatts-by-2027-uybd3vhp

[24] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64303149

[25] Dubai Electricity & Water Authority | Shams Dubai DEWA

[26] https://dgf.ae/investments-sector-focus/

[27] https://www.zawya.com/en/press-release/government-news/sharjah-sustainable-city-honoured-with-real-estate-excellence-award-r3izzuop

[28] https://renewablesnow.com/news/uae-passes-law-for-grid-connection-of-distributed-renewable-power-units-805694/

[i] https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/NDC/2022-09/UpdateNDC-EN-2022.pdf



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