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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Egypt needs to nearly triple its investment in clean energy to meet its 2030 energy targets, says IRENA

** #10 Egypt needs to increase its investment in clean energy by nearly threefold to meet its energy targets of producing half of the country’s electricity needs from renewables by 2030, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says in a report (pdf) on Egypt’s renewable energy outlook. The existing policies have investment in renewables set at USD 2.5 bn per annum, but IRENA says this figure would need to be raised to USD 6.5 bn per year until 2030 in order to meet our targets. According to the agency, sticking to the current pace of investments would enable Egypt to cover around 25% — rather than the targeted 50% — of its energy needs from renewables.

Our potential is there, but the strategy needs to be tweaked: Egypt has “ample potential” to meet its ambitious energy targets, the report says, but doing so would require a significant revision of its strategy. Among the top priorities for the government to realize its renewables target is cutting off energy subsidies altogether, streamlining administrative procedures for investors, and conducting feasibility studies on the potential exploitation of biomass. Local manufacturing should also factor into the strategy, IRENA says, by encouraging the development of the domestic production of renewable energy equipment.

The cost-saving benefits speak for themselves: Increasing our reliance on renewable energy sources would cut down energy costs by USD 900 mn and would have an indirect effect on bringing down other costs, such as medical care to treat pollution-related ailments. “By adopting the right policies now, Egypt could realistically draw 53% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. This higher uptake of renewable power, when combined with renewables used for heat and transport, would end up reducing total costs, including energy, environmental and health-related costs by USD 9 bn per year on average compared to current energy plans.”

In related news: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met yesterday with IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin, who was in town while his organization presented its report at the Egypt Renewable Energy Conference, which is currently underway in Cairo. El Sisi told Amin that the government targets 20% renewables in Egypt’s 2023 energy mix and 42% by 2035.

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