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Yemen turns to solar in adversity

As its oil sector remains effectively paralysed by conflict, Yemenis are exploiting renewables out of necessity

Yemen has become the tragic poster child of proxy conflict in the Middle East as its civil war rumbles into a sixth year. With the conflict having brought about one of the world’s most desperate humanitarian crises, and considering that it has sizeable proven hydrocarbon reserves, Yemen is not somewhere you would expect to find a significant shift towards renewable energy. But with just 40pc pre-war electricity connectivity, and oil and gas production decimated in the fighting, Yemenis have had little choice but to turn to solar PV. The conflict saw oil production drop from around 150,000bl/d in 2014 to 42,000bl/d in 2015 and to just 18-20,000bl/d 12 months later, according to Yemeni data.

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