Conclusion: Evolution of the Single Buyer Model in MENA
The ideal model does not exist, and the State identity evolves. The SBM was so far adequate and the SBM Plus was built here so it fulfils most of the four qualitative criteria used in this evaluation. It is attractive, feasible, credible and remediable. This is not just another study advocating hybrid models as a convenient solution for countries searching for excuses because further deregulation is challenging technically and politically. Trade-offs have to be made between pragmatism and theory. Limited supply leaves the room open for market manipulation, if that market is weakly regulated. Its capital intensity calls for the creation of mechanisms to increase investors’ confidence (sovereign guarantees, long-term commitments, take-or-pay clauses) with the State as the backbone of these mechanisms. But governments would opt for the least complex capacity mechanism: direct intervention. Public authorities would then remain involved in the electricity sector, particularly in immature, rapidly growing markets.