Residential Electricity Subsidies in Iraq: Exploring Options for Reform

Image Credit: Iraq Energy Institute (IEI)

For almost a year, Iraq Energy Institute (IEI) fellows, researchers and staff have been devising a reform roadmap, with policy recommendations, that aims to substantially enhance revenue collection in the residential electricity sector of Iraq. The main focus of this roadmap is the restructuring of the currently imposed, heavily subsidized tariff.

Holistically, the objective of this work was to aid existing and future endeavours by Iraqʼs Ministry of Electricity (MoE) in considering pathways to gradually approach cost recovery for power generation in the country. Furthermore, this project explores proposing a number of measures that can be followed to unbundle, open and upgrade the distribution sector of the electricity industry. This effort by IEI will strengthen a working relationship with the MoE, in fulfilment of a Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the MoEʼs Training and Energy Research Directorate in April 2019.

This publication was prepared under the leadership of Harry Istepanian, Senior Research Fellow at IEI, supported by Yesar Al-Maleki, IEIʼs Managing Director and Robert Tollast as Editor.

This work could not have come to existence without the support it received from Dr Luay Al-Khatteeb, Iraqʼs Minister of Electricity, and technical input from his Deputy for Transmission and Distribution, Nafee Abdulsada. The roadmap benefitted greatly from close coordination with Bushra Shaeer Hamza, Director General of MoEʼs Training and Energy Research Directorate, and particularly Nasir Karim Qasim and Raeid Abed Alwan.

IEI would like to acknowledge organisations and individuals who provided input, comments and reviews to this publication. We would like to thank experts from the International Energy Agency (IEA), particularly Ali Al-Saffar in addition to Gavin Gray from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Radia Sedaoui and Laura Khatiri from the United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), Leila Benali from Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), Robin Mills from Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy and Senior Research Fellow at IEI, Yu Nagatomi and Naoko Doi from Japanʼs Institute of Energy Economics (IEEJ), Alexander Hamilton from the United Kingdomʼs Department of International Development (UK-DFID), Gareth Stansfield from the University of Exeterʼs Arab and Islamic Studies Center (AISC), Walid Khadduri, an Independent Energy Consultant and Anas Alhajji as Energy Markets Advisor and Moderator of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law Forum (OGEL). These organisations and individuals by no means have endorsed or financially supported this publication but have provided invaluable commentary on it.

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