Egypt has come a long way in electricity generation from renewable resources. The outlook for the renewable energy is “very positive” with more new investments in the sector are expected, says former head of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) Mohamed Salah Al-Sobky.
The laws and legislations that have been adopted recently in the country encouraged the private sector to invest largely in the sector. It is also developing gradually, and is witnessing real competition that is in the interest of the state and the consumers, as major international companies enter the local market to provide high-quality services at low prices, he adds in statements to Daily News Egypt.
However, further efforts are needed to develop this sector, such as studies of sunlight intensity, bird migration, and wind speed, and there must be strong networks that can absorb the produced electricity.
Al-Sobky estimated the energy needed for the 1.5m-feddan reclamation project at 2GW.
“If the industrial sector gets 3% of its energy from renewable resources, this will increase the demand for renewable energy, and will prompt companies to produce more electricity and sell it directly to users without waiting for the government to conclude purchasing contracts of the produced energy,” he said.
Moreover, Hafez Salmawy, former head of the Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, said the feed-in tariff projects in Benban Solar Park had accounted for about 15% of investment flows to Egyptian the last four years. The project showed the attractiveness of investment in the energy sector, and that demand exists when rules and regulations do, he told DNE.
He noted that the business community in Egypt had responded quickly to the market developments and established partnerships and alliances with international companies to compete on implementing renewable energy projects.
“Renewable energy can beat the petroleum sector in Egypt, and be the first destination for Arab and international investors,” Salmawy added.
To attract more investment in the renewable energy sector, the Egyptian government needs to put a clear plan every 3-4 years defining investment opportunities in the sector. Investors should also be involved in preparing those plans, so that they can be ready to implement them. In addition, the organisational and legal frameworks of the market should be updated regularly to keep pace with global developments.
Ageing infrastructure, energy shortage, dependence on a single energy resource meant Egypt had to make a move somewhere. So far, the government succeeded in its switch to renewables. Egypt currently has great energy production capabilities from various energy resources, so appropriate planning is necessary for the coming period to build on this progress.