• Primary Program Energy and Macroeconomics
  • Research Interests Electricity systems, energy economics, subsidies and water-energy nexus

Biography

David is a former research associate who centered on modeling the economics of integrated energy systems, with a focus on Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Gulf countries. His recent studies have focused on the impact of energy price reform on the technology and fuel mix of the Saudi energy sector and the nexus of water, energy, and agriculture.

Prior to joining KAPSARC, David led energy efficiency efforts at the municipally-owned electric utility in Austin, Texas and served the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Publications

See all David’s publications
  • Books/books chapters
  • Discussion papers
  • Methodology paper
  • KAPSARC journal article
  • External journal articles
The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

The Economics of Renewable Energy in the Gulf

The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) has been at the epicenter of global energy markets because of its substantial endowment of hydrocarbons. Yet countries in the region have also stated their intent to be global leaders in renewable energy. This collection explores the drivers for the widespread adoption of renewable energy around the GCC, the need for renewable energy and the policy-economic factors that can create success. https://www.routledge.com/The-Economics-of-Renewable-Energy-in-the-Gulf-1st-Edition/Akhonbay/p/book/9781138351905 Contributors: Ghada Abdulla, Hisham Akhonbay, Abdullah Al-Badi, Walid Ali, Odeh Al-Jayyousi, Imtenan Al-Mubarak, Maha Alsabbagh, Omar Al-Ubaydli, Moiz Bohra, Sylvain Cote, Nasreddine El-Dehaibi, Amro Elshurafa, Bassam Fattouh, Stephen Gitonga, Steve Griffiths, Marwan Khraisheh, Walid Matar, Daniah Orkoubi, Rahmatallah Poudineh, Shreekar Pradhan, Antonio Sanfilippo, Anupama Sen, Marilyn Smith, David Wogan, Lama Yaseen, Karen Young.    

October 17, 2018
Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

As populations and economies grow, a megatrend that will increasingly affect both developed and emerging economies is the policy trade-off between managing water resources and achieving food security objectives. This policy trade-off is very relevant in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which represent some of the most water scarce regions of the world and are also intent on achieving food security through domestic agriculture production. We offer a case study on the policy options for reducing water consumption while maintaining food security and farmer welfare in the GCC’s largest country, Saudi Arabia. Specifically, we explore how crop substitution can reduce aggregate water use without compromising the current level of food security or farmer welfare. Additionally, we assess the potential social implications of crop substitution options in order to better understand the political feasibility of various policy choices. The results suggest that if water usage is to be minimised while maintaining food production and farmer welfare, then the primary candidates for reduction are crops or livestock with large water intensity and low revenue and/or low production. Eliminating these types of crops would yield higher water savings than moderate reductions across a large portfolio of crops at the lowest political cost. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-10-6695-5_12

January 23, 2018
The Costs and Gains of Coordinating Electricity Generation in the Gulf Cooperation Council Utilizing the Interconnector

The Costs and Gains of Coordinating Electricity Generation in the Gulf Cooperation Council Utilizing the Interconnector

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have installed a network of high-voltage transmission lines, known as the GCC Interconnector, which links the member states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Interconnector has successfully provided reliable services to GCC countries but has not yet realized its full potential as a platform to fully integrate individual electricity systems. This paper analyzes the potential costs and gains of electricity exchange among the GCC countries. Given the current political climate, it does not consider electricity exchange with Qatar, except as a sensitivity case.

June 10, 2018
Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Policy Options for Reducing Water for Agriculture in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia relies almost exclusively on aquifers and desalination to provide its water. Roughly 87 percent of these water extractions are used for agriculture, and so any policy to improve the sustainability of water resources cannot ignore this agriculture dimension.

March 5, 2016
Efficient Industrial Energy Use: The First Step in Transitioning Saudi Arabia’s Energy Mix

Efficient Industrial Energy Use: The First Step in Transitioning Saudi Arabia’s Energy Mix

External observers worry about whether Saudi domestic consumption of oil will crowd out exports. This is based on simple extrapolations which suggest that in a little more than 20 years Saudi Arabia may become a net importer of hydrocarbon fuels. However, our research does not support this. Based on the “baseline scenario” macroeconomic assumptions in Oxford Economics’ global economic and industry models, we project Saudi Arabia’s energy balances until 2032 using the KAPSARC Energy Model (KEM).

June 7, 2015
GCC Energy System Overview – 2017

GCC Energy System Overview – 2017

This paper presents data sets that support economic and policy analyses of countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The objective is to provide an overview of the GCC energy systems and serve as a reference for researchers performing quantitative modeling and analysis

October 1, 2017
A Resource-limited approach to estimating algal biomass production with geographic fidelity

A Resource-limited approach to estimating algal biomass production with geographic fidelity

ASME Energy & Sustainability Conference 2010. Phoenix, AZ. ES2010-90154 (Peer-reviewed paper & presentation)

2010
An Improved Methodology for Reporting Solar Radiation Data

An Improved Methodology for Reporting Solar Radiation Data

Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. 2 (5)

2010

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