Egypt is returning to nature to fuel its future energy needs

The North African country could see up to $ 60 billion in investments in renewable energy over the next 20 years

Egypt enjoys an abundance of the two best ingredients for clean and renewable energy; Sun and wind. Add in a population that increases by approximately two million newborns a year and generating energy from nature’s freely available gifts becomes a no-brainer.

The North African country could see up to $ 60 billion in investments in renewable energy over the next 20 years.

The figure may seem high “but Egypt is an attractive source (for investment) and the electricity sector has a clean record of complying with agreements and payments, and the state wants to keep this record clean,” Report.

The government has changed tack by taking various steps to increase the nation’s total capacity to the current 50 gigawatts. By comparison, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has around 80 gigawatts produced by a combination of resources.

“Considering that Egypt is a developing country, this capacity (50 GW) is quite good. It ranks first in Africa and fifth in the Mediterranean basin after countries like France and Spain, ”says report.

The country’s total capacity of 50 gigawatts has been driven by three power plants co-built by Siemens and Benban, which is a $ 4 billion solar park in the south and one of the largest in the world, according to Bloomberg. In 2017, Egypt signed a $ 30 billion deal with Russia to build North Africa’s first nuclear power plant, with a capacity of 4.8 gigawatts.

In its current form, access to electricity is 100 percent across the country, but chronic power outages caused such frustration among people that it was a key factor in the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. This pointed to the need to find reliable energy alternatives and better ways to manage resources.

Egypt is currently implementing the 2015-2035 strategy to modernize the energy sector. The strategy was modified to extend until 2040 and one of its main pillars is to make renewable energy a priority and learn from past mistakes, such as intensive dependence on natural gas to power plants.

Recent figures show that the government purchased electricity from private renewable energy providers worth about $ 380 million in 2019-2020. The solar park, Benban, was the largest provider. Other sources included wind farms and the excess produced by solar panels on factories and houses, sources from the Electricity Ministry told a newspaper El Mal in August.

The best thing about renewable energy, pointed out in reports is that it is predictable and its cost of production has been cut by almost half since it was discovered as an alternative to traditional sources such as coal and fossil fuels. The price of crude oil, for example, goes up and down, unlike constant renewables, which make investors sign up for a project knowing all the math ahead.

Keep in mind that renewable energy is environmentally friendly and will tick all the boxes for governments, investors and citizens.

On the wind energy front, authorities have allocated 1,200 kilometers in the Gulf of Suez for wind farms. Another 6,000 kilometers have been reserved in the central region of Egypt.

The expectation is that 12,000 MW can be generated from these areas, El Salmawy said, noting that the modified energy strategy aims to have 20,000 MW generated from wind power by 2040.

Read more about global vision on renewables by 2050

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