Power sector reform and renewable energy in the MENA region : a study of interaction between these two initiatives in the UAE, Egypt and Morocco



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In light of the Arab Spring, media professionals and academics have expanded the scope of their focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to two powerful forces that could significantly affect its economic and political landscape: power sector reform and renewable energy development initiatives. This paper attempts to outline the history and future of these initiatives in the region by focusing on three MENA region countries, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with a focus on Abu Dhabi, along with Egypt, and Morocco. Furthermore, this paper analyzes how these two initiatives are affecting one another in the context of the domestic political landscape and economy. The results of this analysis point to three key aspects of power sector reform initiatives affecting domestic renewable energy development: the level of governmental financial supervision, electricity subsidies, and the terms of engagement between the state-run single buyer utility and independent power producers (IPPs).