Northern Africa

Solar is gaining traction in MENA region – but plenty of obstacles remain

Solar deployment continued to pick up in the Middle East and North Africa in 2019, the Middle East Solar Industry Association has said in its annual report.

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Solar-plus-storage will start to make big inroads in the year ahead

By this time next year we may be able to wave goodbye to that old chestnut about renewables endangering security of supply. Elsewhere, the price of lithium – and the products it goes into – could go either way after tanking this year.

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Winners and prices of Tunisia’s 500 MW PV tender

The Tunisian Ministry of Mines and Energy has confirmed that Norway’s Scatec Solar has secured 300 MW at three sites. It also revealed that France’s Engie and China’s TBEA each picked up 100 MW projects. The lowest bid came in at $0.025/kWh, while $0.034/kWh was the highest offer.

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Scatec Solar secured 300 MW of solar capacity in 500 MW Tunisia auction

The Norwegian PV developer was allocated three of the five projects available in the procurement exercise, having reportedly offered to accept $0.025/kWh from utility Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz for the clean power produced by the largest, 200 MW slice of generation capacity available.

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2.2 MW/1.5MWh of storage linked to 5 MW off-grid PV plant in Tunisia

Italian gas and oil producer Eni has followed the recent commissioning of a 10 MW solar+storage project in Pakistan with the completion of a similar off-grid installation at an oil field in Tunisia. The power plant was built in partnership with Tunisian state-owned oil company Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activités Pétrolières

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‘Green electrons and molecules’ from the desert

The new concept of the Desertec initiative, which was presented at the Energy Transition in the Arab World Conference in Berlin last week, is still based on the idea that large-scale solar and wind energy can be developed and used in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa. It also includes, however, that hydrogen and other synthetic emission-free energy carriers can also be developed throughout the region with clean energy and then exported to world markets.

EBRD to lend €183m to help Egypt connect 1.3 GW of renewables

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is offering the funds to Egypt’s transmission system operator to strengthen the country’s grid to host more renewable energy in anticipation of rising power demand over the coming decade.

EDF invests in Egyptian renewables developer KarmSolar

The French energy group has injected an unspecified sum into KarmSolar, which has a 165 MW solar project portfolio in Egypt. The developer specializes in power purchase agreements and solar distribution contracts with large commercial, agricultural and industrial clients.

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The weekend read: Offgrid goes global

Offgrid solar power has emerged as a vital part of the PV business across the African continent, and is now spreading to other parts of the globe, mainly with solar home systems and microgrids. pv magazine examines the core issues of financing, business models and the quest for user data.

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Saudi power company ACWA secures 200 MW bifacial solar project in Egypt

Saudi energy giant ACWA Power won the tender for the project in August thanks to a lowest final electricity price offer of $0.02752/kWh. Construction of the facility, which will use bifacial panels, is expected to be complete by April 2021.

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