FLY over southern Iraq at night and you get a glimpse of the dire state of the country’s electricity. The brightest lights shine not from skyscrapers or roads, as they do in nearby Kuwait City, but from oilfields, where flares burn useless gas extracted with the crude. Iraq wastes about 12 billion cubic metres a year of gas this way—more than Austria’s entire consumption.
Yet Iraq, outside is autonomous Kurdish region, cannot guarantee its people a reliable electricity supply for a whole day. While the flaring goes on, Iraq imports gas from neighbouring Iran at high European prices and electricity from Turkish barges in the Gulf. Many Iraqis run their own generators, which account for 8% of the country’s total electricity supply and can cost a family as much as $1,000 a month—a sixth of average annual income. (…)
(The rest of the piece is here.)