Egypt looking to boost renewable energy production

The Egyptian government is eager to adopt renewable energies for government buildings, streets and roads and residential areas, according to the country’s minister of finance, Hani Kadri Demian.

Demian said in a statement that the government was seriously looking at employing renewable power, smart lighting and energy saving systems in government buildings but added that the country still needed “a comprehensive vision” that also included streets, roads and residential areas as well as an integrated and contractual system.

Demian stressed that the Finance Ministry was ready to allocate "any funds for any budgets" to finance a national project to develop solar energy as a means of powering lighting systems and to replace fossil fuel "as soon as possible."

During a meeting with Shaaban Khalaf, head of the New and Renewable Energy Authority, and representatives of the Ministry of Electricity and the Renewable Energy Authority, Demian asked that studies be conducted on the replacement of traditional lighting systems in governmental buildings, public enterprises and on roads with smart lighting systems powered by solar energy as well as the other renewable energy sources that offered increased energy efficiency and overall savings.

The Finance Ministry’s plan calls for a public-private partnership that would also see financing for the project from the private sector in return for gaining a portion of the electricity savings.

Electricity Ministry and Renewable Energy Authority representatives initially asked the Ministry of Finance to provide some EGP 27.8 million (US$3.9 million) in funding to implement the first phase of a solar power installation project for 50 buildings belonging to 15 government ministries.

The government officials are set to hold a follow-up meeting to discuss the role of the private sector in the country’s push for greater renewable energy production and the level of compensation private companies could get if they participate in the financing of clean power projects.