With the ongoing daily emission of pollutants, global warming, and the depletion of earth’s natural resources, more and more people are resorting to renewable energy. Last May, we discussed the world’s soon-to-come largest solar park, right here in Egypt. Because diversity is key in this era, our country is branching out to another form of sustainability; wind energy.
The story started in 2017 when Egypt issued a decree to approve loans, pledged by international financial institutions, to a 250MW wind farm in Ras Gharib on the Gulf of Suez, according to Egypt Today. It will be developed by a trio of elite companies, referred to as the Toyota-Orascom-GDF Alliance: Egypt’s Orascom Construction, France’s GD France, and Japan’s Toyota. As a result, the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) signed several agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) so far.
Moreover, the project is built under the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) system, a project delivery mechanism in which a government entity sells the right to construct and operate a project for a specified time to a private-sector party, according to agreed design specifications.
In 2018, REVE (Spanish initials that stand for Wind Energy and Electric Vehicle Magazine), a bilingual news website of the sector with an emphasis on electric vehicles, shared the announcement of the Egyptian Electricity Minister, Mohamed Shaker, who stated that the wind farms will be operational by 2020. We also learned that the total investment cost of the project amounted to approximately 400 million dollars, and that the project will provide opportunities for local employment and increase socio-economic activity in the surrounding area.
Finally, we received the latest update yesterday from Daily News Egypt, which mentioned that the farm is 85% complete, is scheduled to be finished in October, and set for a trial run in November. However, the total investment cost was different from that of REVE, as they cited the number to be 250 million euros. The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) Executive Chairperson, Mohamed El-Khayat, El-Khayat shared an interesting fact that renewable energy now represents 10.5% of the total energy produced in Egypt; 1.5% solar and wind, and 9% hydropower.
Egypt strives to meet its target of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, as part of the ministry’s plan to diversify sources of energy production and achieve sustainable development in the sector. We hope that one day we will go the full mile and reach 100%.