Arab States Improve Conditions for Sustainable Energy Investments

Cairo, Egypt – 18 March, 2015 – The Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) launched the 2nd edition of its flagship publication, the Arab Energy Future Index™ (AFEX), produced with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). During a launch event in Cairo RCREEE presented the main findings to an audience of government representatives from countries in the region, key experts, regional and international partners, and media.

AFEX is a policy assessment and benchmark tool that provides a detailed comparison of renewable energy and energy efficiency development in 17 countries of the Arab region on more than 30 different indicators. Despite ongoing turbulence in the region, these countries have continued to make progress toward creating better conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

Tunisia continues to lead on Energy Efficiency, while Morocco continues to show leadership in Renewable Energy. Other countries, such as Egypt and Jordan have also improved their ranks over time based on recent policy efforts. The 2015 edition of AFEX also includes a number of new indicators and areas of focus, such as the transport sector, and deeper analysis of energy institutions and governance. The assessment also now includes countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“AFEX provides insights about the energy transition taking place in the Arab region. The response to our first edition from our governmental stakeholders, practitioners and regional development community was overwhelmingly positive. Many have found value in the report to motivate internal change processes”, said Dr. Tareq Emtairah, Executive Directors of RCREEE. “With the help of our partners, we have broadened the scope of AFEX 2015 to include more countries and sectors. More than anything, AFEX 2015 illustrates the momentum that sustainable energy systems are gathering in the region. More needs to be changed and done, but the results are overall encouraging.”

Production of the 2015 edition of AFEX was supported by UNDPs Arab Climate Resilience Initiative, which works with countries across the Arab region to achieve low carbon and climate-resilient development pathways. “Expanded use of renewable energy and energy efficiency is critical to achieving sustainable development goals in the Arab region. AFEX and RCREEE’s research programs provide a dynamic range of information around sustainable energy policies, institutions, services, and markets. It has emerged as an important metric to facilitate ongoing discussions between policy makers, businesses and communities on how to ensure cleaner and more affordable energy services and ultimately support low carbon climate-resilient development pathways across the region” said Dr. Kishan Khoday, Regional Team Leader for Climate Change, DRR and Resilience at UNDP. “

AFEX 2015 Key Findings

  • Six countries, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan and Yemen, have implemented energy subsidy reforms. Of these countries, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco implemented energy subsidy reforms in the electricity sector and all six increased prices of oil products.
  • Qatar and UAE take a major step forward in phasing out inefficient lighting by introducing a complete ban on import and sale of incandescent light bulbs. Jordan, Qatar and UAE, introduced technical standards for home appliances with minimum energy efficiency requirements.
  • Lebanon and Palestine made progress in successfully operationalizing energy efficiency funds. Lebanon in particular has been successful in leveraging private funds for financing energy efficiency projects through its funding mechanism “National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action”.
  • Algeria and Egypt move toward creating more favorable conditions for private investment in renewable energy by adopting feed-in-tariffs.
  • The share of renewable energy increased in at least seven countries. The largest increase took place in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt.
  • Twelve of the seventeen countries in the Arab region have put in place national energy efficiency action plans with specific energy efficiency measures and targets.
  • Despite these improvements, certain challenges remain such as energy efficiency regulation of the transport and industrial sectors, and the effective implementation of existing policies.

AFEX Energy Efficiency 2015 has been developed with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank.

The full report is available for download from here

About the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE)

The Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) is an independent not-for-profit regional organization which aims to enable and increase the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency practices in the Arab region. RCREEE teams with regional governments and global organizations to initiate and lead clean energy policy dialogues, strategies, technologies and capacity development in order to increase Arab states’ share of tomorrow’s energy.

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Emad Abou-Elgheit

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Tel: +20 2 241 54755 (Ext: 120)

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

As the leading global organization in the fight against poverty, UNDP is responding on the front lines of climate change – where it hits the world’s 2.6 billion poorest people the hardest. UNDP works with national, regional, and local partners to help them respond effectively to climate change and promote low-emission, climate-resilient development. UNDP is the UNs leading provider of assistance in the area of climate change and sustainable energy, with over $1.2billion of technical assistance projects in over 140 countries and territories.