Beating the heat: Flickering power reliability in a warming Middle East

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With the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme temperatures across the Middle East brought on by climate change, unreliable and chronically undercapitalized power sectors will feel the heat as they struggle to maintain reliable service. These vicious cycles are most keenly experienced in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Syria and Palestine (Gaza), where outage hours, capacity shortfalls and unremunerated generation have spiked in response to high temperatures and other macro-level factors straining grids. Fragile grids are a major bottleneck to the decarbonization of power, make power sector reforms difficult, are poorly positioned to provide resilience in the face of rising temperatures, and perpetuate civil unrest. Building climate change resiliency into the future of dysfunctional and underperforming utilities will be necessary to remove this bottleneck to decarbonization in the region.

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