Jordan’s energy security rollercoaster over the last ten years epitomizes the extent to which poor energy planning – particularly for a net importer – can wreak havoc on a country’s public finances. When supply disruptions cut off cheap Egyptian gas in 2010-2011, Amman was forced to import costly diesel and fuel oil for electricity generation just as oil prices surpassed $100/B (see chart 1).
State power provider Nepco bore the brunt of the crisis, racking up more than $7bn in debt (18% of total government debt: MEES, 31 May 2019). For a state whose aid-dependent finances are shaky at the best of times, a more robust energy policy became a matter of survival – particularly after Arab Spring protests shook the Hashemite monarchy to the core. (CONTINUED - 726 WORDS)