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Monday, 17 June 2019

Egypt has Africa’s second highest renewable energy capacity, but we’re still not reaching our potential

Egypt has Africa’s second-highest renewable energy capacity, but we’re still not reaching our potential: Egypt ranks second in Africa in terms of renewable energy capacity, with statistics from the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) showing that power plants and other installations that use renewables can generate up to 4,813 MW of electricity per year, CNBC reports. But IRENA’s October 2018 Renewable Energy Outlook (pdf) stated that we could “realistically and cost-effectively” supply 53% of our electricity mix using renewables by 2030 — a far more ambitious target than the government’s aim for renewables to make up 42% of our electricity mix by 2035.

Egypt’s frameworks are stronger and projects are flourishing: Currently, Egypt’s total installed capacity of renewables includes 2.8 GW of hydropower and around 0.9 GW of solar and wind power. The USD 2.8 bn Benban complex is expected to generate as much as 1.8 GW of electricity, and its biggest contributor, Scatec Solar, has already started commercial operations on the third part of its 400 MW project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. In late 2018, Egypt’s renewable energy framework was named one of the three fastest-improving globally by the World Bank. And small businesses are leading the way in private sector job creation, with companies such as KarmSolar and the Solar Energy Development Association (SEDA) being responsible for 80% of private-sector jobs.

How can we reach, or even exceed, our renewable energy goals? IRENA’s recommendations include updating energy and power strategies, clarifying institutional roles and responsibilities for wind and solar development, bundling larger and smaller projects to help mitigate financial risk, and enhancing local manufacturing capabilities.

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