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Energy

Low oil prices give Gulf countries reason to focus on clean energy and productivity

Waleed Alsuraih's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
 Shutterstock l  Marynchenko Oleksandr

The 2014/15 oil price collapse may actually provide an opportunity for the Gulf region to focus on “green” economic thinking and on maximizing energy productivity overall. Given their large hydrocarbon resources, the GCC in particular has a large stake in the global transition towards sustainable energy. 

How innovation is disrupting the energy industry – and what it means for the Middle East and North Africa

Reem Muhsin Yusuf's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Traffic Jam in Casablanca, Morocco - World Bank l Arne Hoel

We are currently witnessing shifts in major industries as a result of rapid technological innovation and industry interconnectivity. The amalgamation between transport and software, for example, has resulted in Google Maps, Waze and Uber, apps that we all interact with to move from point A to B.

Greening the Energy Sector in the Middle East and North Africa

Charles Cormier's picture
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 Robert Robelus l World Bank

One question that often arises when I meet colleagues who work on climate change is how the energy sector in the Middle East will adapt to a carbon-constrained world.   In May 2015, my inbox was flooded with articles that quoted the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ali al-Naimi, who declared that Saudi Arabia aspires to be a global power in solar and wind and could start exporting renewable energy instead of fossil fuels in the coming years.

Arab world needs a new deal on energy to end the black outs

Charles Cormier's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Skyline of Dubai with high voltage power supply lines - Philip Lange l Shutterstock.com

When I started working in the Middle East and North Africa region two years ago, the surprising thing I discovered is that although the region is known as an energy powerhouse – it produces 30% of the world's oil, has 41% of the known gas reserves, and hydrocarbons are its most important export - the countries in the region barely meet domestic demand for electricity, partly due to a chronic shortage of gas.

Oil, Politics and Offshore Accounts

Catherine Bond's picture
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 Gennadiy Kolodkin / World Bank

Do political institutions limit ‘rent-seeking’ (excessive profits free from competition) by political elites? Very much so, if they’re working properly, argue the four authors (Jørgen Juel Andersen, Niels Johannesen, David Dreyer Lassen, and Elena Paltseva) of ‘Petro Rents, Political Institutions, and Hidden Wealth: Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts.’ Their paper examines unique public data—on bank deposits held in some of the world’s best-known tax havens—to establish whether oil, in particular, really is the ‘resource curse’ it is made out to be by a range of political scientists and development professionals. (Spoiler alert—the answer is ‘yes.’) 

What does cheap oil mean for the Arab World?

Shanta Devarajan's picture
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As the price of oil falls, the discussion is heating up on what the impact will be for countries in the Arab World – especially online through the popular Arabic hashtag النفط_دون_50_دولار #    translating to “oil below US$50 . The World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa, Shanta Devarajan, weighs in on the conversation.

The Debate: Would the Arab World be better off without Energy Subsidies?

Will Stebbins's picture
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The Debate

Governments in the Arab world have long subsidized the price of energy. This gives citizens throughout the region access to cheap petrol and diesel, and electricity supplied at below-market rates. But what has been the real impact of subsidies, and do they justify the huge financial burden they place on national budgets? This is a critical question in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), as the region represents a disproportionate share of the world’s energy subsidies.

The inspiring Green Growth program of Morocco: How it could work back home in Egypt

Nehal El Kouesny's picture
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Video

On assignment in the Morocco office for about three months, I had the chance to have what I could confidently describe as a rich development experience. Getting away from Egypt’s years of unrest helped me develop a clearer vision.

Smart Cities in North Africa: A Localized Debate about a Global Trend

Mehrunisa Qayyum's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
 Arne Hoel l World Bank

Walking past the Check-in counter in Casablanca’s Mohamed V International Airport, a digital sign claims X amount of solar energy used and X amount of energy savings occurred in powering a transit hub with the use of polycrystalline panel technology.  As a tourist, this may come as a pleasant surprise if she has not yet had the opportunity to see other improvements, like Rabat’s tram system.  As a citizen, this may be inspiring as the term “smart city” hints at better infrastructure and technology use.  However, what qualifies a city as a “smart city” is more often a topic for discussion only among Maghreb countries and not implementation.  

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