Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said has said that the energy sector and its efficient management play an important role in achieving sustainable development worldwide.
Egypt’s energy sector, however, faces many basic challenges that require reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels in energy production.
This would see a shift towards using renewable energy as an alternative, in a way that contributes to achieving the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It would also contribute to achieving the goals of Egypt’s Vision 2030, and the country’s Integrated and Sustainable Energy Strategy 2035.
El-Said’s remarks came during the speech delivered on her behalf, on Saturday, by Ahmed Kamaly, Deputy Minister for Planning and Economic Development. Kamaly was speaking at the opening event of the international Energy and Sustainable Development Conference, organised by the Institute of National Planning (INP).
The conference is being held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, and in the presence of Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker.
It is set to continue for two days with the participation of a large number of researchers, academics and experts in the field of energy and sustainable development at the local, regional and international levels.
The conference is also being attended by representatives from international and regional bodies and organisations, as well as ministries and civil society organisations working in energy.
In her speech, El-Said said that this year’s conference comes under exceptional and uncertain economic and health conditions around the world, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The crisis has been less severe on the Egyptian economy due to the improvements in many macroeconomic indicators during the pre-COVID-19 period.
The Egyptian government’s implementation of an economic and social reform programme between 2016 and 2019 has resulted in the country’s economy achieving positive growth. This has been a particularly positive note for Egypt, compared to the negative economic impacts seen elsewhere, particularly due to the global health crisis.
El-Said highlighted the importance of developing and implementing many financial, monetary and technological economic policies. These come in addition to international cooperation, whether in the field of investment in research and exploration for traditional energy sources, or investment in new and renewable ones.
The Minister said that the COVID-19 crisis, and the resulting recession and economic downturn, resulted in a decrease in global demand for oil. This has negatively affected investment in traditional energy sources. These changes are expected to reflect on the trend in the global market towards the use of renewables, especially in the short term, until the crisis ends.
El-Said also said that, despite the current circumstances, Egypt’s energy sector is on its way towards modifying the energy mix and enhancing the share of renewables. This will ensure that the country improves its energy sustainability, security, and sustainable development.
The conference aims to discuss issues related to the sector developments and their role in achieving sustainable development. This will identify the opportunities and potentials available from various energy sources, and the challenges that hinder using new and renewable energy.