Egypt, moving forward in its effort to have 20% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, just announced plans to build a $700 million 100 MW solar power plant in Kom Ombo.
The project is part of a 5-year plan from 2012-2017 geared at making Egypt one of the top generators of solar energy in North Africa, according to electricity ministry undersecretary Aktham Abou el-Ella.
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The power plant will be financed by the African Development Fund, the World Bank, and other international institutions.
“The vast majority of Egypt’s power is currently provided by natural gas-fired power stations, with a small percentage coming from large-scale hydroelectric plants on the Nile delta,” Tom Young of Business Green reports, but it is looking to become a major player in this field, especially if the potential DESERTEC project ever gets off the ground.
But Egypt has a ways to go still to make its 2020 goal.
“Egypt will need to dramatically accelerate the rate at which it deploys solar technologies if it is to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets. Electricity generation is currently growing at a rates of seven to eight per cent a year, due to a growing economy and increasing use of air conditioning units, and a government-sponsored report last year estimated the country will need to have at least 1GW of solar capacity alongside 7.2GW of wind capacity to meet its 2020 renewables target while satisfying the growing demand for power.”
This 100 MW project is a start. Will Egypt keep the ball rolling?
Photo Credit: Aesum via flickr