Featured image via electrek
Every successful project starts with the spark of an innovative idea. In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered that certain materials produce small amounts of electric current when exposed to light. This eventually led to today’s eco-friendly source of energy, the power of the sun. A chain reaction was soon released worldwide as countries attempted to utilise solar energy, in various shapes and forms, to help save the environment. Following this tradition, Egypt is about to launch a fully operational solar park near Aswan this year, and it will be the largest in the world!
The statistics that we came across about the Benban Solar Park, named after a village near the site, are quite flabbergasting. First off, the 37 square kilometre area will house 32 plants, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC). As a matter of fact, it is Benban’s extraordinary potential to increase Egypt’s energy generation capacity that encouraged the IFC, and a group of other lenders to pledge $653 million in 2017 to support the 2-billion-dollar project. The financing helped approximately 13 private companies to build and operate the power plants at the site. During his visit to the site with Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, the World Bank President, David Malpass, stated, “Egypt’s energy sector reforms have opened a wider door for private sector investments.”
Secondly, the park will generate between 1.6 and 2 GW of electricity that will provide hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses with clean energy. Egyptian officials think the nation can produce 20 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2022 and up to 40 per cent by 2035, according to Reuters. Thirdly, 4,000 people will be employed once Benban is fully operational in 2019. Finally, the project will avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, “the equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road”. Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated, “This project will help Egypt tap into its massive potential for solar energy and scale back its use of expensive—and polluting—fossil fuels. That’s especially important with the spectre of climate change looming.”
Egypt Today declares that the construction site is arguably the second best spot for power plants after the Chilean desert highlands. This fact bodes very well for the sustainability of the Benban Solar Park and how it will soon impact hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, and one day, the entire nation.