Egypt has been looked to as a hot spot for #solar #energy production over the last decade due to its abundance of land space, high winds, and sunlight. The overall climate in Egypt makes it a prime location for solar, wind, and renewable energy production and growth. In recent years, more solidified plans of action to bring solar energy to the country have been laid out. According to the latest data, Egypt is aiming to provide at least 20 percent of generated electricity in the area through solar or renewable energy by the year 2022. The breakdown for this goal will have wind energy comprising 12 percent of the renewable energy sources, with hydropower at just under 6 percent and solar power at 2.2 percent.
What Experts are Saying
Policy analyst for Bloomberg in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Katherine Poseidon, told Daily News Egypt that Egypt undoubtedly has one of the, “strongest markets in the Middle East,” for solar and renewable energy production. At the annual Solar and Wind Show in Cairo in February of this year, Poseidon noted the introduction of a new, fixed tariff model in Egypt’s solar energy sector will allow more developers to become involved in the market, but also increase competition in the area among investors. Ultimately, the feed-in tariff model aims to bring down the cost for solar energy investors and those involved in the initial markets.
In the annual report produced by Bloomberg to determine which global environments have the greatest opportunity for solar energy production, Egypt’s score went up considerably in 2019, making the coveted region even more competitive in the solar energy sector. The country is now on the fast track towards becoming a “regional energy hub” that will compete with other solar energy producers and markets in the region. The race to the top of the solar energy market in the Middle East will not be free of challenges, however.
Board member of the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), Gurmeet Kuar, noted that the biggest challenge when it comes to solar and renewable energy production in Egypt will be how to supply consumers with energy supplies at night when there is an absence of sun. Solar energy storage for this specific concern has been heavily investigated by solar energy researchers worldwide. Finding proper means of storing solar energy will need to be one of the top priorities for those in the solar energy sector in Egypt. Kuar stated that taking advantage of the omittance of traditional electricity subsidies in the Middle East, along with their focus on smaller projects, such as rooftop solar panels, will help the country remain competitive. She also told Daily News Egypt that her hope is that, in time, licenses and permits will be less of a hassle for solar energy developers to obtain in the region. Ultimately, a mix of both renewable and solar energy resources, as well as traditional fossil fuels, is the most realistic goal for now.
Wind and Solar Energy in Egypt
Wind energy will play a huge role in Egypt’s renewable energy future. The focus is primarily on wind energy due to the consistent and powerful winds in the area. Since 2001, countries like Germany, Denmark, Japan, and Spain have established solar wind farms in Egypt, resulting in a massive increase in renewable imports in the last decade, particularly by 2013 when a Spanish project was constructed in Jebel El Ziet.
Egypt is considered to be a “sun belt” country, according to Egypt’s Solar Atlas. Its global position makes it an ideal location for both wind and solar energy production. Egypt’s first solar energy plant was built in 2011 in Kuraymat, with several more being built in the years that followed. Currently, there is talk of implementing solar and wind energy plants near both the West and East Nile areas. It is projected that as much as 52,300 MW of solar energy and 31,150 MW of wind energy could be generated from these regions.