New at Castalia

Here Comes the Sun: solar-led green growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Jonathan Walters, Castalia Senior Advisor, explains how the massive solar energy resource in the Middle East and North Africa is a huge opportunity for the region and the world as a whole, particularly in the context of combating global warming. Jonathan looks at some of the key arguments and counter-arguments about utilizing the region’s solar potential: the discussion ranges from pervasive fossil fuel subsidies through political instability to water shortages. He establishes that none of these factors really explain the lack of past success of the technology in the region, and underlines what would need to happen for the region’s potential to be fully realized. Jonathan focuses particularly on the role played by the European protectionist application of its subsidies in blocking solar energy imports, and Europe’s potential self-interest in rising above that protectionism. He concludes with two principal observations: “Shouldn’t the developed world spend its climate change mitigation subsidies in the region with the best solar resource in the world? That should be the cheapest way of reducing the cost of solar energy for the world.”  and “Exports to Europe can only reinforce stability in the region. A stability that is clearly desirable from the point of view of Europe.” 

Read Jonathan’s brief article “Here Comes the Sun” in the Oxford Energy Forum, Issue 102, page 7, a quarterly Journal by The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (University of Oxford). 

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