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Key features in electricity and CO2: Middle East

► The Middle East region recorded an 87% growth in electricity output over the 1 998-2008 decade. Total CO2 emissions have followed a similar trend, growing by 83% over the same period. The CO2 intensity of power generation fell by 2% over the period, to 0.69 tCO^MWh in 2008.

► CO2 emissions from power generation are fairly concentrated in this region with the two largest emitters, Saudi Arabia and Iran, representing about 53% of total emissions.

► Gas represents the largest source of electricity supply. Electricity from gas grew more than fourfold between 1990 and 2008. The second largest supply source is fuel oil with 36% of total supply in 2008 - a very high share compared to the global average of 5.5%.

► With 42% of the total final electricity use, the residential sector remains the largest consumer of electricity. It represents a high percentage of overall consumption compared to the global average of 27.4%.

► Given the abundant energy reserves located in this region, energy prices have been low in most of the region. Energy efficiency has not been a high priority, but a policy shift can now be seen in several countries including Saudi Arabia, with the creation of a National Energy Efficiency Programme, and Israel, with a 20% reduction in energy consumption by 2020.

► The share of non-fossil fuel, essentially only hydro power, in overall electricity generation has fallen markedly from 2007 to 2008 and represented only about 1% of total output in 2008. However, the drop from 2007 to 2008 was mainly a result of severe drought that adversely affected Iran's hydroelectric production.

► Oil and gas dominate plans for new capacity; non-fossil fuel capacity accounts for only 10%, with some hydro under construction and nuclear planned in Abu Dhabi

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