Solar Is Yemen’s Solution To A Crumbling Power Grid

Country Overview

The country of the Republic of Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea. The population of Yemen  is approximately 34.72 million people.

In 2014, civil war in Yemen began when Houthi rebels with links to the Islamic Republic of Iran took control of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The civil war continues to take a heavy toll on Yemen’s citizens, economy, and the nation’s power grid.

In 2022, Yemen’s economy was ranked 116th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, scrap iron, fresh fish, gold, and frozen fish.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Yemen signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 1.0% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual projections.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 74.9% of the people in Yemen had access to electricity. In 2021, utilities used oil (62.0%), natural gas (21.0%), and renewable energy (17.0 %) to generate electricity in Yemen. Solar is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Yemen.

Recent renewable energy projects in Yemen include:

  • 120 MW Solar Project – United Arab Emirates renewable energy company, Masdar is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 215 miles south-southeast of the nation’s capital, Sana’a.
  • Solar Water Projects – In December 2021, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) commissioned six solar water projects in rural areas of southwestern Yemen.


Oil was first discovered in Yemen in 1984 by American company, Hunt Oil. In 2021, Yemen was the 39th largest crude oil exporting country in the world.

The export of crude oil is critical to Yemen’s war-torn economy. In 2021, Yemen exported U.S. $1.06 Billion in crude oil.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Yemen has significant renewable energy resource potential, including onshore wind, solar, offshore wind, and biomass. Yemen’s renewable energy resource potential could easily replace all the oil and natural gas fueled power plants, which provided 83.0 % of the nation’s electricity in 2021. Solar is providing a solution to Yemen’s crumbling power grid.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

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