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Priorities for the Recovery and Reform of the Electricity Sector in Yemen

Electricity is the backbone of any economy and one of the necessities of modern life. Since even before the current war, poor electricity services in Yemen have been one of the key barriers to sustainable economic development and basic service provisions, such as water supply, health care, and education.

This policy brief presents an overview of the electricity sector and its relevant indicators prior to the conflict. It then outlines the impact of the conflict on the sector and concludes with a set of priorities for restoring the pre-war capacity of the electricity sector, then further reforming it to improve its performance.

Immediate- to short-term recommendations include: adopting a realistic and practical recovery plan; securing funds for rehabilitating the infrastructure; reviewing the electricity tariff; reducing technical and non-technical electricity losses; purchasing electricity when needed through a competitive process and via least-cost options, such as gas and renewable energy; securing the fuel supply and the salaries of sector staff; resuming all suspended projects; finding sustainable and feasible solutions for the electricity supply in each governorate to avoid the challenges associated with the centralized grid; and installing sustainable stand-alone solar systems, compatible for connection to the national grid (when restored).

The medium- to long-term priorities include specific recommendations under five categories, relating to: the legal and regulatory framework; institutional arrangements; capacity and performance; private sector participation; and technical issues.

This policy brief was developed based on a more detailed research paper published under the same title by Rethinking Yemen’s Economy project in May 25, 2021. The full research paper can be viewed on this the Development Champions Forum website or by clicking on this link.

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