In their plans to move beyond heavy dependence on fossil fuel imports (Morocco and Tunisia) or to maximise export revenues from domestic oil and gas reserves (Libya, Algeria and Egypt), the North African states stand at a crossroads in terms of energy policy: interest in adopting renewable energy and/or nuclear energy presents opportunities for a strategic realignment of national development paths. Placed in the global sunbelt, rich in wind, geothermal and hydropower resources, the North African countries boast abundant potential for renewable energy production. Although a series of clean energy policy initiatives have recently been introduced in the region, renewable energy resources largely remain untapped. Current efforts to establish large-scale solar power exports to the EU – including the Mediterranean Solar Plan and the Desertec industry initiative – anticipate a substantial uptake of renewable energy in North Africa, but so far there has been only limited buy-in by Arab political regimes.
At the same time, several North African states are currently seeking to obtain civil nuclear power for several reasons: to meet rapidly growing domestic energy demand, to protect exports revenues from fossil fuels, to demonstrate national technological advancement...
This study analyses renewable energy policy in hydrocarbons-wealthy Arab states. Integrating elements of energy policy analysis, Middle Eastern studies and sociotechnical governance theory, the thesis contributes to the understanding of renewable
energy policy in this region as well as to the question of transferability of governance
The thesis is structured in three parts. Part A discusses relevant research literature and
presents the multi-level-perspective which structures the policy analysis. Additionally,
the policy design model of transition management that closely interacts with the multilevel-perspective is presented. Then, the material content of renewable energy policies
in hydrocarbons-wealthy Arab states is discussed and the research questions developed. A methodological discussion concludes Part A.
Part B applies the analytical categories developed to two case studies, Algeria and the
United Arab Emirates. The two countries represent the main types of Arab oil and gas
wealthy states (large territorial and small city states) and two relevant regions (North
Africa and the Gulf States). In addition to domestic renewable energy policy, the thesis
also discusses the Desertec project, as well as Abu Dhabi’s Masdar Initiative as case
studies within the larger country case studies.
In the last part of this study...
The DESERTEC project, a European Union (EU) initiative to harness solar energy by means of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) from Africa for use in Europe, shows the enormous potential that exists in alternative energy sources for the sub-region once there is political will. The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation (TREC), a network of scientists and politicians who have taken it upon themselves to solve Europe's energy problem using sun from Africa, conducted three studies which evaluated the potential of renewable energy resources in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the expected needs for water and power in EU-MENA between now and 2050 and issues relating to the construction of an electricity transmission grid connecting the EU and MENA (EU-MENA-Connection), with a formula to turn the North African desert sun into electricity and transport same to Europe. This paper harnesses the TREC fact-finding studies in order to estimate how much the same ideas can be applied in many other parts of the world, Nigeria in particular. Investigation reveals that this association exists with huge potentials for an energy-starved country like Nigeria in harnessing her abundant hot sun in the north, which could go a long way in meeting the energy needs in that part of the country and beyond. Other benefits include unlimited supplies of clean electricity...