Policy Briefs

Scaling up Solar Energy Investments in Yemen

Scaling up Solar Energy Investments in Yemen

Poor electricity services remain a key barrier to sustainable economic development in Yemen, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict and related damages to the electricity sector’s infrastructure.

Given Yemen’s high average hours of annual daily sunshine and its significant level of solar irradiation, solar energy is a viable and cost-effective alternative to the currently prevalent fossil fuel-based electricity supply.

This brief provides an introduction to electricity provision in Yemen and explores the viability of specific solar energy applications for Yemen’s fragile context. It further considers the feasibility of partnering with the private sector in the solar energy sector, and finally presents recommendations and practical steps to address challenges to scaling-up investments in this sector in Yemen. It argues that a paradigm shift is needed to address the energy crisis in Yemen and kickstart meaningful economic activity: from an exclusive focus on large, fossil fuel-based, centralised power generation plants to a stronger prioritisation on smaller, distributed renewable power generation plants that could provide jobs and livelihoods to Yemenis; from centralised planning and implementation to empowerment of local authorities and local Public Electricity Corporation branches to lead in this sector; from an overemphasis on supporting small stand-alone solar systems delivered by international non-governmental organisations and development agencies to a stronger prioritisation on innovative financing models and market-creating interventions supporting the sustainability of the sector at scale.

Read also in Policy Briefs

Priorities for Private Sector Recovery in Yemen: Reforming the Business and…

September 9, 2019 Policy Briefs
On April 27-29, 2019, a group of Yemen’s leading socioeconomic experts convened the fifth Development Champions Forum in Amman, Jordan, as part of the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy initiative. The Development Champions’ in-depth discussions regarding the challenges facing the business and investment climate in Yemen resulted in the recommendations below for the internationally recognized…

Restructuring Public Finances in Yemen

October 2, 2019 Policy Briefs
Even before the current conflict, Yemen’s public finances suffered from an overdependence on energy exports, one of the lowest tax collection rates in the world, and chronic budget and balance of payments deficits. The government’s consistent operating deficits were funded through domestic debt instruments – drawing investment away from the private sector – borrowing from its own central…