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September 16, 2011
Article Co-Authored by Brattle Economists Highlights Need for Energy Efficiency in Middle East

An article co-authored by Brattle principal Ahmad Faruqui and senior associate Ryan Hledik addresses the urgent need for energy efficiency programs to be implemented in the Middle East. The article, “The Energy Efficiency Imperative,” has been featured in a recent issue of the Middle East Economic Survey. Dr. Faruqui and Mr. Hledik, who have recently completed developing an energy efficiency plan for one of the largest countries in the Middle East, argue that the adoption of an energy efficiency plan for the Middle East and North African region is vital in order to keep the lights on. The majority of countries in the Middle East are experiencing a rapid growth in energy demand, due to an economic surge in the region combined with poor energy efficiency practices among its citizens. It is estimated that the region will need to invest $30 billion annually into the energy sector to support their current usage. In order to address the issue of supply and demand for the Middle East, Dr. Faruqui and Mr. Hledik agree that a demand-side management (DSM) plan would be successful in alleviating the problem. A DSM plan will educate customers on how to minimize wasteful use of energy, develop new efficient technologies, as well as establish cost-based pricing that changes customer behavior. By encouraging reductions in electricity consumption during times of peak electricity demand, DSM programs have shown to provide significant system and economic benefits.