The Kuwait Energy Outlook (KEO) was launched last week, representing the first-ever economy-wide analysis of energy consumption and production in the country.

The report – released by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) — is based on a scenario analysis in SEI’s Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System, or LEAP. SEI and KISR jointly developed the scenario analysis.

The KEO makes the case for a new energy strategy for Kuwait: one that fosters economic diversification and reduced fossil fuel dependency, and which promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The launch event for the Kuwait Energy Outlook. Photo courtesy of KISR.

The report includes detailed analyses of the residential, transportation, desalination and electric generation sectors. It also highlights how a transition to a more diversified, energy efficient and renewables-based system can help Kuwait reduce its per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are currently among the highest in the world (at 21 tonnes per person).

Any such transition will require careful reform of energy prices. These are currently highly subsidized and so act as a huge barrier to economically rational energy efficiency and conservation.

The study also highlights the urgent need to improve data collection and sharing in the country and to scale up the institutional capacity for data collection, planning and analysis. The current paucity of energy statistics was challenging for the production of the outlook and prevented detailed analysis of key sectors (industry and services).

KISR intends to make the KEO an annual flagship report. As data improves, it expects to deepen the analysis of energy policies in future editions, for example with more precise and detailed analysis of key sectors and the development of a cost-benefit analysis of policy options as the basis for setting energy strategy priorities.

The KEO was developed by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), with support from UNDP Kuwait, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Stockholm Environment Institute.