Renewable energy investments in the Middle East and North Africa region. An analysis of the environment, risks, and barriers

  1. Nidal Abdallah Hasan Tayeh
Dirixida por:
  1. María del Carmen Sánchez Carreira Director

Universidade de defensa: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Ano de defensa: 2021

  1. Paulo Reis Mourâo Presidente/a
  2. Pedro Varela Vázquez Secretario
  3. Vítor João Pereira Domingues Martinho Vogal
  1. Departamento de Economía Aplicada

Tipo: Tese


The countries of the Middle East and North Africa, known as MENA, are rich in renewable energy resources. However, the existence of these resources is not sufficient for a major development in renewable energy. Thus, only 6% of renewable energy resources are currently used, despite the fact that all countries have renewable energy strategies, policies, plans and targets for the years 2020, 2025 or 2030. In order to meet current national emission reduction commitments, and in line with the Paris Agreement of 2015, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the total investment needed to produce electricity from renewable energy sources is USD 8.8 trillion worldwide over the period 2010-2035, of which USD 184 billion will be invested in the MENA region up to 2030. Achieving these investment targets would require significant public and private sector involvement in renewable energy projects. However, these two areas face significant challenges to the development of the sector. Thus, in most countries of the MENA region, public resources are not sufficient for a remarkable development of renewable energies. This is particularly due to the current economic situation in the region. In addition, oil-exporting countries are affected by the evolution of prices, which, beyond their volatility, have been showing a downward trend for a few years now. In relation to the private sector, its limited participation in renewable energy projects in the MENA region is noteworthy. One of the main reasons that can explain this trend is found in the different risks associated with investments in renewable energy, which include political, financial, business environment, regulatory and social and environmental risks. This study analyses those risks, both from theoretical and empirical perspectives, through surveys to different stakeholders involved in the sector, and the relationship between different types of risk and investments in renewable energies. Different hypotheses that suggest a negative impact of the different risks in renewable energy investments raise, because they limit the attractiveness of these investments and discourage the participation of the private sector in the development of this sector. The results show a close relationship between the risks analysed and investments in renewable energy. In order to contribute to greater involvement of the private sector in the development of the sector, the governments should use different instruments and support mechanisms, combined with actions that reduce or even eliminating the risks associated with this type of investment.