Abu Dhabi is risking a prolonged power crunch by shelving a power plant and relying on its nuclear reactors to come online on schedule while dragging its heels on its solar ambitions and its plans to reduce energy consumption.

In spite of rampant growth in demand for electricity and desalinated water, the government of the oil-rich emirate has put off a decision on its next major power project, the proposed 1.5GW Mirfa gas-fired power and water plant. This delay slows Abu Dhabi’s usually frantic capacity building drive, as government decision makers are unconvinced by internal demand forecasts (see graph), a government source says. But their calculations could be proven wrong within a couple of years. (CONTINUED - 1731 WORDS)