For many, especially in the United States, the Arab world is closely associated with fossil fuels. But over the past several years, a raft of news articles, opinion pieces and analyses have hailed the advent of renewable energy—especially solar power—in Arab countries. Many such pieces open with images meant to defy the reader’s expectations. In the first line of an essay in The Atlantic titled, “Why the Saudis Are Going Solar,” the author notes that according to his first impression, “Everything about [Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia] seemed to suggest Western notions of a complacent functionary in a complacent, oil-rich kingdom.” [1] Yet he was surprised to find that “Turki doesn’t fit the stereotype, and neither does his country” because of the prince’s leadership in Saudi Arabia’s drive to develop a domestic solar industry. [2] In a similar vein, an Economist article on the blossoming of solar energy in the developing world opens with an anecdote about solar arrays being built in an arid part of Jordan, accompanied by a Getty Images photograph of a solar panel resting in front of a sand dune in an unidentified locale—solar power making the desert bloom, so to speak. [3] Also fitting this pattern, the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2016 misleadingly summarizes a “New Policies” scenario for Middle East power generation that includes oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar energy with the statement, “Natural gas is gradually joined by renewables as the fuel of choice.” [4] A more accurate summary of the IEA’s own data might read, “Oil and gas continue to dominate a more diverse energy mix.”

According to such analyses and representations, the use of fossil fuels in power generation lies with the Arab world’s stagnant past; the future is in technologically advanced renewables (and a more judicious use of fossil fuels, as more honest observers acknowledge). These arguments and images embody an admirable hope for progress in the fight to move the world away from fossil fuel dependence, and provide opportunities for Arab leaders to showcase their economies’ modernity, for journalists to elicit editors’ and readers’ surprise that Arabs would “go solar,” and for international agencies to make their projections seem mildly optimistic. But the shift underway in the power sector of much of the Arab world is likely to be much more complicated than the linear energy transition suggested by these representations.

In the Arab world as elsewhere, the power sector has received the most media attention as the site of potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This is more or less justifiable, since alternatives to fossil fuels in electricity generation are much more readily available than alternatives in industry and transportation, especially in the automobile-dominated Arab world. But it is not at all clear that most Arab countries are actually undertaking a decisive transition from fossil fuels toward renewable energy in power generation. Coverage of the power sector in more sober business and economic media, including especially the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), shows that many Arab states indeed appear to be diversifying their fuel mixes by adding renewables like solar and wind in addition to other low-carbon fuels like nuclear and hydropower, but also by constructing larger amounts of fossil fuel power generation capacity. Most of the Arab world’s planned new power plants are set to use natural gas, petroleum products and even imported coal, as well as older low-carbon technologies like nuclear and hydropower. These energy sources are likely to provide much more of the region’s electricity than solar or wind power in the foreseeable future.

The desire to limit greenhouse gas emissions is only one reason that Arab states are diversifying their generation mixes, and it does not seem to be the most important driver of power sector diversification. To use the language with which policymakers tend to address these matters of concern, other motives for fuel diversification include a desire to dilute the risk of price increases of individual fuels, to lower spending on imported fuels or to increase energy security. For oil and gas exporting countries, the most compelling and immediate benefit of diversification is often to exporters’ fiscal balance: Burning petroleum or natural gas that could otherwise be exported represents a real and often significant opportunity cost, because every barrel of oil burned to generate electricity would earn hard cash if exported instead. But fossil fuels are often cheaper than renewables, creating strong incentives to continue burning familiar fuels or even import new fossil fuels like coal. Furthermore, in oil and gas producing countries, the abundance of local oil and gas expertise and infrastructure encourages the continued construction of plants that burn domestically produced fuels, as does the political economy of accumulated vested interests in power plants that burn those fuels. [5]

Given both the likelihood that electricity demand will grow rapidly across the Arab world over the coming decades and governments’ sensitivity to popular demands for service provision following the 2011 Arab uprisings, familiar technologies that burn cheap fuels are especially attractive to Arab governments. [6] In short, there are important reasons to diversify the power sector’s fuel mix, but there are also strong disincentives to diversification, and compelling reasons not to diversify toward renewables. It can be argued that the climate change mitigation benefits of moving toward renewables outweigh such considerations. But as will be shown, this does not appear to be the calculation that Arab governments have made, despite the relatively ambitious renewables targets that many of them have announced. [7]

Regional Trends

A review of the power plants that have been announced as planned or under construction in the Arab Middle East and North Africa, as reported by MEES and other sources, shows that many Arab countries are in fact diversifying their fuel mixes. A few are even doing so in a way that significantly increases the importance of low-carbon power generation relative to fossil fuels. Yet based on the type and amount of generating capacity that are being planned and constructed as of July 2016, it seems likely that oil and gas are going to remain central to power generation in the Arab world. Older non-fossil fuels like hydropower and nuclear are likely to be at least as important as wind and solar, and imported coal appears set to play at least as important a role in power generation as all non-fossil fuels put together. The future of electricity generation in the region will not look like its past, but unless a much more decisive shift is just over the horizon, neither will it resemble the “solar panels covering the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia [and] windmills across the Sahara” that MERIP’s editor imagined nearly two decades ago. [8]

This argument is sustained by data from MEES reporting from July 2015 through July 2016, supplemented by other news sources as well as statistics compiled by the IEA, the Arab Union of Electricity, and national power sector regulatory bodies in the Arab Middle East and North Africa. [9] These sources suggest that at a regional level, power plants that consume fossil fuel account for around three quarters of the capacity of the power generation projects currently in the pipeline. Among these fossil fuel projects, plants that burn less carbon-intensive natural gas are likely to gain in importance relative to plants that burn crude oil or petroleum-based fuel oil or diesel, while carbon-intensive coal is slated to become a major new fuel source. Of the non-fossil fuel capacity planned, hydro and nuclear power will provide almost as much capacity as renewables like solar and wind, and will probably provide more electricity to the grid than renewables. But despite a real push to increase the role of non-fossil fuels, coal appears likely to provide almost twice as much new capacity as renewables, and about as much new capacity as all non-fossil fuels combined.

Figure 1. Estimated planned capacity additions by fuel type in Arab MENA in July 2016 (GW).

Admittedly, the project pipeline is not a perfect indicator of how much generating capacity will actually be built: Projects can be cancelled for any number of reasons, including changes in planning, difficulty securing financing and changing commercial circumstances like fluctuations in fuel prices. Moreover, it should be noted that the project pipeline provides an indication of the amount of generating capacity that will be built, which does not correspond neatly to how much of each fuel is likely to be used. Assuming that the projects discussed here are built as planned and reported, there will be large differences in the “capacity factor”—the proportion of generation capacity actually used over time—of plants that use each of these fuel types.

Figure 2. Estimated built and planned capacity in Arab MENA, fossil vs. non-fossil fuels in July 2016 (GW).

How much of a power plant’s capacity is utilized is a fairly complex question, but generally speaking, coal and nuclear plants are used for “base load” power, meaning that they operate much of the time because of how long it takes to start or stop their operation. Nuclear plants tend to have a capacity factor of between 75 and 95 percent, while coal plants vary between 45 and 75 percent, according to statistics collected in the United States. [10] Plants that burn crude oil can be switched on and off quickly but are inefficient, so they tend to be used for “peaking,” meaning that they only operate when electricity consumption is high (e.g., during Saudi Arabia’s summer air conditioning season). They therefore have a relatively low capacity factor. Natural gas plants are relatively inexpensive to run and quick to start, so they can be used either for base load or for peaking, and tend to have a capacity factor comparable to coal’s. [11] Petroleum products like fuel oil and diesel tend to be used for peaking, base load or both, so their utilization rates vary considerably (i.e., from 0.5 percent in Tunisia to 52 percent in Saudi Arabia in 2013). [12] The utilization rates of solar and wind power depend upon climatic conditions (i.e., amounts of sunshine and wind), making their operation constant but intermittent. Finally, hydroelectric dams have reservoirs that allow their operators to modulate water flows and power generation—enabling hydro’s use as base load, peak, or both—but reservoir levels are rainfall-dependent. In the United States, hydro plants have a capacity factor of between 30 and 55 percent, wind turbines’ capacity factor is between 20 and 40 percent, and various types of solar installations have capacity factors between 10 and 45 percent. [13] In short, renewables’ intermittency suggests that they are likely to be even less important to the region’s future fuel mix than their share of the project pipeline might lead one to believe. Likewise, the tendency to use crude oil as a peaking fuel means that petroleum is likely over-represented relative to coal and natural gas. By contrast, coal, natural gas and nuclear plants are likely to be more important than their share of the project pipeline suggests.

Still, non-fossil fuels including nuclear, hydro, solar, and wind are likely to be more important in the region’s future generation mix than they have been in the past, growing from a miniscule 4 percent of capacity in the current mix to a more respectable 24 percent in the project pipeline. If all planned nuclear plants are built—which remains an open question—the region’s estimated 12 GW of nuclear power would likely be more significant than its estimated 19 GW of additional renewables and 2 GW of additional hydropower because of nuclear plants’ much higher capacity factor.

As a further caveat, these shifts will take a long time to work their way into the system as new plants slowly come online and old plants are gradually retired. By the same token, this specific pattern of diversification will be locked-in for decades even if there is a more robust push toward renewable and other non-fossil power sources in the future. In other words, assuming that the region’s power sector diversifies as planned, the modest planned decrease in fossil fuel use will not be realized for years, and the new fossil fuel plants that will be built will likely continue operating for decades. To borrow Andreas Malm’s phrasing, such investment in the present “encumbers the next decades with an even more ponderous mass of infrastructure into which carbon has been locked…[as] the causal power of the past inexorably rises.” [14]

National Trends

Though useful for identifying large-scale trends, this regional-level analysis does not capture the extent to which national-level energy strategies and patterns of fuel use impact the region’s future fuel mix. It also does not showcase the variety of diversification strategies among Arab states, or give due credit to countries like Morocco, Jordan or the UAE, which are disproportionately responsible for diversification into non-fossil fuels despite their sizable investments in new oil, gas and coal-fired plants. Though fuel pricing, market structure, capital availability, regulatory frameworks and political economy considerations for new power sources like nuclear and renewables are critical to any in-depth analysis of the prospects for these countries’ future electricity mixes, an in-depth discussion of these factors is outside the scope of this essay. I aim only to illustrate the diversity of power generation strategies within the region, and to place planned capacity additions in the context of Arab governments’ apparent policy goals. With those caveats, it appears that no Arab government has made a decisive commitment to a linear transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy in the power sector. While most Arab states’ power sectors are undergoing major shifts, to measure them on that linear basis would be to badly misunderstand their probable goals and likely outcomes.

Table 1. Estimated existing generating capacity by fuel type in July 2016 (GW).

Table 2. Electricity generation by fuel type in 2013 (percent of generation mix)

As Figure 3 and Table 3 show, four states—the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco—are responsible for the majority of the region’s diversification away from oil and gas in power generation. These four countries have distinct existing fuel mixes, diversification strategies and reasons for diversification. The UAE currently relies almost completely on natural gas for electricity, which provided around 99 percent of electricity generated in 2013 (see Table 2) and currently accounts for almost all of the country’s 29 GW of generating capacity (see Table 1). While plans exist for almost 5 GW of additional natural gas capacity, the UAE is also investing heavily in nuclear, coal and renewable energy (see Figure 3 and Table 3). A consortium of South Korean companies has begun constructing four nuclear power plants to be sited in Abu Dhabi, with a total of 5.6 GW of generation capacity, and reportedly aims to have them operational by 2020. [15] The second major component of the UAE’s planned low-carbon power generation is an estimated 6.45 GW of planned renewable capacity additions, mainly solar units including small distributed rooftop panels as well as large-scale “solar parks.” Yet the UAE will remain quite dependent on fossil fuels, reportedly planning an estimated 4.68 GW of additional natural gas-fired plants as well as an estimated 3.87 GW of coal-fired power plants never before used in the country. To its credit, the UAE has made public commitments to developing prestigious renewable energy sources, including hosting the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). But energy security, the conservation of natural gas for export, the reduction of spending on natural gas imports, and the dilution of the risk of price fluctuations appear to be at least as salient as climate change mitigation as motives for fuel diversification. [16]

Figure 3. Estimated planned capacity additions by fuel type, by country in July 2016 (GW).

Egypt is likewise making massive investments in a wide variety of fuel sources, including especially coal (see Figure 3 and Table 3). Indeed, coal makes up the majority of planned capacity additions (a staggering estimated 27.26 GW), followed by renewables (an estimated 9.36 GW), natural gas and nuclear (nearly 5 GW each) and hydropower (an estimated 2.1 GW). This marks a clear departure from Egypt’s current reliance on natural gas and petroleum, which together accounted for 92 percent of electricity generated in 2013, but a continued deep dependence on fossil fuels. Still, Egypt is investing in by far the largest amount of hydro and renewables capacity additions in the Arab world. But as elsewhere, renewables’ intermittency will diminish their impact on Egypt’s future electricity mix, while coal’s role as a base load fuel will make it disproportionately important. Egypt’s first nuclear power plant will also play an outsize role as a base load power source, assuming that it is financed and built. [17] And although the Egyptian government mainly trumpets its high-prestige investments in renewable and nuclear power sources, coal is set to make by far the largest contribution to the diversity of the country’s fuel mix. [18] The desire to meet rising demand and fulfill President Sisi’s promises of economic growth while ensuring energy security and the financial solvency of the electricity sector, rather than any strong commitment to climate change mitigation, seems to account for the diverse but coal-intensive mix of Egypt’s future. [19]

Morocco, which owes the current diversity of its power sector to a lack of domestic oil and gas resources, is likely to move even further away from oil and gas toward coal and renewables. The country currently relies primarily on coal, oil and gas for power generation, with a substantial contribution from hydropower and a smaller but nonetheless impressive proportion from renewables (see Table 2). The country’s project pipeline, however, includes a near tripling of renewables capacity (an estimated 2.28 GW of new capacity compared to around 960 MW in 2016) and a continued investment in coal (an estimated 1.7 GW of new coal capacity on top of 2.7 GW of existing capacity in 2016) (see Figure 3 and Table 3). As a major energy importer, Morocco has been diversifying its electricity mix for more than two decades with the goals of energy security, insulation from price fluctuations, and greater reliance on domestically produced energy rather than imports. [20] While Morocco has made a very large investment in renewable capacity, the country’s apparent intention to cease constructing new oil and gas-fired plants while dramatically adding to coal-fired capacity and investing in liquefied natural gas terminals mark an equally important shift in Morocco’s fossil fuel base. [21] The IEA nonetheless chooses to use a stock photo of wind turbines sitting atop sand dunes to represent this complex transition on its website.

Jordan, which is also famously import-dependent due to its lack of domestic oil and gas reserves, is more intensively diversifying toward locally abundant fuels. Though the country is reportedly planning an additional half-GW of natural gas-fired capacity, it is also reportedly planning an equal amount of generating capacity fueled by domestically produced kerogen, an unconventional (and dirty) precursor to oil. [22]Perhaps more importantly, the Jordanian government has announced plans for two nuclear plants to be fueled with locally available uranium with a total of 2 GW of capacity, far overshadowing the mere 338 MW of planned renewables capacity and making up the majority of the country’s planned capacity additions. [23] Jordan’s experiences with the cutoff of oil imports caused by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the interruption of gas imports from Egypt between 2011 and 2013 caused by pipeline sabotage in the Sinai have made energy security and self-sufficiency the critical considerations in the country’s power sector planning. [24]

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also are undergoing significant transitions in their energy mixes, but are primarily attempting to make greater use of natural gas and consume less petroleum in order to save money, generate electricity more efficiently and preserve oil for export. Of the 27.98 GW of capacity that Saudi Arabia plans to construct by 2019, a reported 14.4 GW would burn petroleum and nearly 13 GW would burn natural gas (see Figure 3 and Table 3). This represents a significant shift toward natural gas, which is set to capture a growing share of electricity generated, gradually rising above its 2013 share of 39 percent (see Table 2). Equally important is the shift from burning crude oil to petroleum products including diesel and heavy fuel oil, which must be refined or imported but are more efficient and cost-effective fuels. [25]Crude oil currently represents a major source of fuel for power generation, especially during times of peak electricity demand. Since 2010, direct crude burn has fluctuated between roughly 300,000 barrels per day in the winter and 800,000 or 900,000 barrels per day in the summer. Saudi Arabia’s summer burn can consume nearly 10 percent of the country’s total oil production. [26] With electricity demand growing rapidly and threatening to drain a rapidly increasing proportion of its oil output, Saudi Arabia appears to be aiming to replace as much petroleum as possible with natural gas in power generation, and to burn petroleum products rather than inefficient crude oil to meet the remainder of its electricity demand. [27] The country’s estimated 280 MW of planned renewables capacity will constitute a minute contribution to the effort to conserve petroleum for export, raising the question of whether the Saudis are in fact “going solar” (see Table 3). Yet a recent and ambitious commitment to 9.5 GW of renewables by 2030, recent removals of oil subsidies, and stated intentions to build out nuclear power capacity could mark the beginning of a transition away from fossil fuels in power generation if Saudi leadership follows through and investment capital materializes over the long term. [28]

Table 3. Estimated planned capacity additions by fuel type, by country in July 2016 (GW).

Similarly, Kuwait aims to dramatically increase the share of natural gas in power generation to lower crude burn and conserve oil for export. In fact, nearly all of the country’s planned capacity additions primarily run on natural gas, alongside a small amount of wind and solar energy (see Figure 3 and Table 3). [29] Like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait received around twice as much electricity from petroleum as from gas in 2013 (see Table 2), with refined heavy fuel oil slowly edging out crude oil. [30] Also like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait is unlikely to add enough renewables in the near future to effect any significant shift in its deep fossil fuel dependency or its consumption of otherwise exportable crude oil (see Figure 3 and Table 3). [31]

The remaining states of the Arab Middle East and North Africa are not diversifying their fuel mixes. Qatar, Oman, Algeria, Bahrain and Tunisia, which already produce the vast majority of their electricity from natural gas, each plan to make fairly substantial further investments in natural gas capacity to meet growing demand. Qatar, Oman and Algeria are all gas exporters with large but dwindling reserves, and appear to have elected to meet growing demand using familiar, cheap, relatively abundant and domestically produced gas. All three countries are also making official nods toward gradual investment in renewables to conserve existing gas supplies, while simultaneously exploring for additional gas reserves and even considering the possibility of importing gas from Iran, in Oman’s case. [32] Yet vocal popular opposition to hydraulic fracturing in the Sahara has made gas exploration more difficult for Algeria, though it is unclear if protests against shale gas drilling will force the government to change its strategy. Tunisia and Bahrain will likewise need to increase gas imports or find a larger domestic supply to meet growing demand in the absence of expanded renewables investments. [33] Lebanon, hampered by a dysfunctional electric company and political system, currently imports electricity from a Turkish power ship anchored in Beirut’s port and has plans to build only a pair of small, diesel-powered plants to help mitigate its persistent electricity crisis. [34]

The Arab Middle East and North Africa is undergoing a dramatic period of change in its power sector. Yet despite sensational headlines and picturesque images in mainstream reporting and analysis that suggest a linear move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, that transition is much more complex. Renewables are taking on increased importance in the region’s power mix, but a much larger amount of oil- and gas-fired generating capacity is currently planned to be built across the region. Moreover, older low-carbon technologies like nuclear and hydropower seem likely to be more important to the region’s future electricity mix than renewable power sources like solar or wind. Perhaps most strikingly, imported coal is likely to be at least as important as the Arab world’s new renewables, hydropower and nuclear plants combined. Dramatic shifts in the region’s power sector are underway, but not on a linear path from fossil fuels to renewables.


[1] Jeffrey Ball, “Why the Saudis Are Going Solar,” The Atlantic (July-August 2015).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Economist, April 16, 2016.
[4] International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2016, November 16, 2016, p. 281.
[5] I would like to thank Michelle Melton for her guidance on the incentives for and against power sector diversification.
[6] Poudineh Rahmatallah, Anupama Sen and Bassam Fattouh, Advancing Renewable Energy in Resource-Rich Economies of the MENA, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies Paper MEP 15 (September 2016);World Energy Outlook 2016, p. 246.
[7] Advancing Renewable Energy, op. cit.
[8] “From the Editor,” Middle East Report 216 (Fall 2000).
[9] For the purposes of this article, the Arab Middle East and North Africa includes the Arab Mashriq (Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) and Maghrib (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt), while excluding countries with ongoing civil wars that complicate economic planning (Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya) and occupied Palestine, which does not have full autonomy in economic planning.
[10] US Energy Information Agency, “Monthly Generator Capacity Factor Data Now Available by Fuel and Technology,” January 15, 2014.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Arab Union of Electricity, Statistical Report 2013. [Arabic] [13] “Monthly Generator Capacity,” op cit.
[14] Andreas Malm, Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming (New York: Verso, 2016), p. 9.
[15] Laura El-Katiri, “The GCC and the Nuclear Question,” Oxford Energy Comment (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, December 2012); World Nuclear Association, “Nuclear Power in the World Arab Emirates.”
[16] Oxford Business Group, “Abu Dhabi Turns to Managing Energy Demand and Diversification”; The National (United Arab Emirates), August 31, 2014; Emirates 24/7, October 4, 2015; United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy, UAE State of Energy Report 2015; International Renewable Energy Agency, Renewable Energy Prospects: United Arab Emirates (April 2015).
[17] Reuters, May 19, 2016.
[18] Ahram Online, May 27, 2016; Reuters, May 19, 2016; Egypt Oil and Gas, “Sisi: Nuclear Power to Boost Energy Generation,” May 16, 2016; PV Magazine, April 29, 2014; Scatec Solar, “Implementing Egypt’s Solar Projects,” October 21, 2015.
[19] Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, “Addressing Egypt’s Electricity Vision,” March 13-15, 2015; “Egypt’s Sisi Outlines National Energy Policy at World Future Energy Summit,” The Barrel, January 21, 2015; Siemens, “Egypt Megaproject: Creating Stable Energy for Egypt,” The Magazine, April 27, 2016.
[20] The National (UAE), January 15, 2015; International Energy Agency, “IEA Review of Morocco’s Energy Policies Highlights Country’s Progress Towards Energy Transition,” October 31, 2014; Oxford Business Group, “Installed Capacity Rising to Meet Morocco’s Growing Energy Demand”; Tayeb Amegroud, “Morocco’s Power Sector Transition: Achievements and Potential,”
Instituto Affari Internazionali Working Paper 15/5 (February 2015).
[21] International Energy Association, Morocco 2014.
[22] Jordanian Oil Share Company, “What Is Oil Shale?
[23] World Nuclear Association, “Nuclear Power in Jordan.”
[24] Michael Hochberg, “Jordan’s Energy Future: A Path Forward,” Middle East Institute, August 19, 2015; “Jordan’s Efforts Towards Energy Security,” Natural Gas World, May 8, 2013; Jordan Times, May 22, 2015.
[25] Wael Mahdi, “Saudi Arabia Seen Needing More Fuel Oil to Produce Power,” Bloomberg, February 27, 2014; Jim Krane, “A Refined Approach: Saudi Arabia Moves Beyond Crude,” Energy Policy 82 (2015); US Energy Information Administration, “Saudi
Arabia Uses Largest Amount of Crude Oil for Power Generation Since 2010
,” September 24, 2014.
[26] Platt’s Oilgram News, February 17, 2016.
[27] Middle East Economic Survey 59/20 (2016); Bassam Fattouh, “Summer Again: The Swing in Oil Demand in Saudi Arabia,” Oxford Energy Comment (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, July 2013).
[28] Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, “Vision 2030,” Saudi Gazette, April 26, 2016, available here.
[29] Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, “Renewable Energy Technology Program”; Anna Hirtenstein, “Kuwait Shagaya Renewable Energy Park Sees Construction Begin,” Bloomberg, December 14, 2015; Oxford Business Group, “Kuwait: New Renewable Energy Project in the Works,” July 3, 2013.
[30] Middle East Economic Survey 59/12 (2016).
[31] US Energy Information Agency, “Country Analysis Brief: Kuwait.”
[32] Middle East Economic Survey 59/8 (2016); Middle East Economic Survey 59/13 (2016); US Energy Information Agency, “Country Analysis Brief: Oman”; Reuters, January 21, 2016.
[33] Moëz Cherif and Sameh Mobarek, “Tunisia Faces Tough Strategic Choices as Demand for Energy Begins to Outstrip Supply,” World Bank Arab Voices Blog, January 19, 2016; Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zussamenarbeit, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Tunisia: Employment, Qualification and Economic Effects (December 2012); US Energy Information Agency, “Bahrain.”.
[34] Middle East Economic Survey 58/30 (2015).

How to cite this article:

Zachary Cuyler "The Arab World’s Non-Linear Electricity Transitions," Middle East Report 280 (Fall 2016).

For 50 years, MERIP has published critical analysis of Middle Eastern politics, history, and social justice not available in other publications. Our articles have debunked pernicious myths, exposed the human costs of war and conflict, and highlighted the suppression of basic human rights. After many years behind a paywall, our content is now open-access and free to anyone, anywhere in the world. Your donation ensures that MERIP can continue to remain an invaluable resource for everyone.


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