Business and Economics > Investments: Energy

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Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Nour Tawk
Lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced overall energy demand but electricity generation from renewable sources has been resilient. While this partly reflects the trend increase in renewables, the empirical analysis presented in this paper highlights that recessions result in a permanent, albeit small, increase in energy efficiency and in the share of renewables in total electricity. These effects are stronger in the case of advanced economies and when complemented with environment and energy policies—both market-based measures such as taxes on pollutants, trading schemes and feed-in-tariffs, as well as non-market measures such as emission and fuel standards and R&D investment and subsidies—to incentivize and hasten the transition towards renewable sources of energy.
Majdi Debbich
This paper uses an untapped source of satellite-recorded nightlights and gas flaring data to characterize the contraction of economic activity in Yemen throughout the ongoing conflict that erupted in 2015. Using estimated nightlights elasticities on a sample of 72 countries for real GDP and 28 countries for oil GDP over 6 years, I derive oil and non-oil GDP growth for Yemen. I show that real GDP contracted by a cumulative 24 percent over 2015-17 against 50 percent according to official figures. I also find that the impact of the conflict has been geographically uneven with economic activity contracting more in some governorates than in others.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an external stability assessment on Niger. Niger’s current account balance deteriorated in 2013, mostly on account of higher food and capital goods imports. The deficit is expected to widen further in 2014–15, mainly driven by large investment in the extractive industry and basic infrastructure. The current account is projected to gradually improve from 2016 as important projects in infrastructure will come to end, the oil and mining sectors come on stream and public and private savings increase. Although aid and foreign direct investments are the main sources of external financing, external borrowing–mainly on concessional terms–has increased significantly.
Mr. Niklas J Westelius
The constraints that external linkages impose on domestic policy choices in Saudi Arabia have continuously evolved over the past four decades. This paper argues that two major ongoing developments in particular have affected and will continue to affect policy trade-offs. First, growing oil needs of emerging market economies (EMEs), and specifically those of developing Asia, have strengthened economic links between the Far East and Saudi Arabia. Second, financial sector development in Saudi Arabia has gradually strengthened the monetary transmission mechanism. The former implies the increased importance of developing Asia’s growth cycle for the Saudi economy, while the latter suggests greater influence of U.S. monetary policy on the non-oil economy through the peg to the U.S dollar. As a result, divergence between the growth cycles in developing Asia and the United States has the potential to increasingly generate tension between policy objectives in Saudi Arabia.