Ras Al Khaimah’s lack of oil and gas resources – relative to other emirates – has encouraged growth in non-hydrocarbons sectors. The most significant of these is industry, which now accounts for around 30% of GDP. However, this high rate of industrial development means that demand for electricity has soared in recent years, becoming the single biggest constraint on expansion in RAK. The government has therefore made power supply a priority in recent years, investing in improvements in generating capacity. Both the federal authorities and the emirate are investing to ensure energy supply in RAK. For example, research is under way in RAK towards developing a smart grid, one that responds to peaks and troughs in demand and compensates accordingly, making the system as a whole more resilient. Furthermore, investments in renewable energy sources – particularly solar and wind – could go a long way toward reducing energy prices and fuelling long-term industrial development. Given the high levels of solar irradiance RAK receives, solar energy is a niche area being explored and has much potential.
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