Egypt could reach 44 GW of solar by 2030 – IRENA


Egypt has the potential to reach 44 GW of installed solar PV power by 2030, according IRENA, which has outlined how the Northern African country could develop its renewable energy strategy, in a new report, “Renewable Energy Outlook: Egypt.

Here, the agency provides two different scenarios suggesting how the country’s energy system could evolve over the next two decades: (i) a Reference case, with a baseline scenario based on current plans and policies; and (ii) a REmap case, based on an assessment of the accelerated potential of renewable energy in Egypt. Under the latter, it urges the government to periodically re-evaluate longer-term energy goals, to reflect the changing market dynamics.

Under the first scenario, the country’s total installed capacity is expected to grow by around 250% to 117 GW, with the majority of growth coming from coal, natural gas, wind and solar PV. Of this capacity, just 9 GW will be represented by solar power generators, however, while coal and gas will have each a share of 20 GW. Wind will occupy the third position, with 18 GW.

If achieved, these targets would enable Egypt to cover around 25% of its power consumption with renewables, which would in turn, also be able to account for 11% of total primary energy consumption.

This growth is expected to be determined by a GDP increase of 119% by 2030, which would also result in energy demand rising by 117%, from 62 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe) in 2014, to 133 Mtoe by 2030.

Under the second, and more optimistic, scenario, renewables could cover around 52% of total power demand and 22% of total primary consumption by 2030, thus doubling both percentages under the first scenario. Furthermore, according to these forecasts, solar would become the country’s largest power sources after gas, with 44 GW of installed capacity.

Meanwhile, wind and CSP would become the third and fourth sources of power, with around 21 GW and 8 GW, respectively. Non-renewable electricity sources – mainly gas and coal power plants – would reach an installed power of 61 MW, while total installed power would equal 137 MW – 20 GW more than in the Reference case.

In order to make the second scenario possible, IRENA has recommended a series of actions to “reflect the growing cost advantages and other benefits of renewables.” Among the listed measures there are, among others: constant updates of Egypt’s energy strategy; improving regulatory frameworks; clarifying institutional roles and responsibilities for wind and solar development; bundling renewable energy projects to strengthen risk mitigation and ensure financial viability; conducting comprehensive measurement campaigns for solar and wind potential; and developing plans for local renewable energy manufacturing capabilities.

Egypt is currently deploying solar through the Benban PV complex under an expired FIT scheme, which is expected to see the grid-connection of all of its 1.8 GW capacity by the end of June 2019. In addition to this, the country is also supporting rooftop PV through net metering and more large-scale solar through two new tenders.