Date of Graduation

Spring 2017


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

John Rose


energy security, solar power, nuclear power, Middle East, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, nuclear terrorism, energy demand crisis

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The U.S. Department of Energy projects that rapid growth in population and access to domestic resources will cause the Middle East's energy consumption to increase by 95% from 2012 to 2040. Currently, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates do not have enough installed power capacity to handle this increase in consumption. Due to this, these states are looking to solar and nuclear power to diversify their energy sectors. This thesis' focus is to examine the impending energy demand crisis that will affect Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan. I argue that solar and nuclear power must play a vital role in these states' energy sectors to stave off future power shortages, decrease reliance on domestic hydrocarbons and imported energy, and reduce CO2 emissions to lessen the effects of climate change. As nuclear energy capabilities for civilian use expand, so does the threat of nuclear terrorism or the possibility for countries to edge closer towards nuclear proliferation. The United States has a vested interest in stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons and will need to be prepared to address this in the region in the future. Additionally, foreign powers are investing considerable resources and technology in the energy sectors in these states, which could erode U.S. influence in the region going forward.


© Brett Roenigk

Open Access