Lebanon: attempts to fast-track electricity reform

Lebanon: attempts to fast-track electricity reform

Electricity reforms are a priority for Lebanon, a country in the midst of an economic crisis, at high risk of default with a debt to GDP ratio surpassing 150%, and a negative outlook credit rating. The power sector is accountable for $36bn – 40% – of Lebanon’s public debt. The country is seeking a fast-track solution with ambitious targets, but these are unlikely to be met and may compromise the sector’s sustainability and effectiveness.

Egypt: Sisi’s power surplus

Egypt: Sisi’s power surplus

When Abdel Fattah El Sisi seized power in July 2013 Egypt was beset by chronic electricity shortages. Six years on, and total electricity generating capacity is nearly double the peak load. Much of the credit for this rests with the electricity minister, Mohammed Shaker, who was appointed in March 2014 before Sisi’s election as president, and with Sherif Ismail, who took over the petroleum ministry in July 2013 and set in place policies that stimulated a revival in the natural gas sector. However, the political dividends have accrued to Sisi, who can point to the turnaround in the energy sector as a notable achievement of his presidency – and as a justification for its extension.

The cost of simplistic power purchase

The cost of simplistic power purchase

Renewable energy deployment is increasingly reliant on independent power producers through power purchase agreements. Yet, off-takers are finding themselves committed to purchasing power at long-term and high prices in a dynamic market, while assuming all the risks. This is an impediment both for expanding renewables and achieving lower electricity prices. Future renewables growth will require a new approach to power purchase agreements as well as investment in mitigating risk and minimising generation costs.