Egypt’s solar power program has received a significant boost from international backing.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has earmarked $500 million to support solar power projects in Egypt. The bank also plans to support the construction of up to 2 GW of solar power projects.
The debt finance by the bank is expected to mobilise up to $1.5 billion in debt and equity from other financial institutions and project developers. Most of these projects are expected to be developed in the Upper Egypt region where a 1.8 GW solar power park is planned. The project will be among the largest solar power parks in the world.
The news will be music to the ears of several developers that are planning to set up thousands of megawatts of solar power capacity across the country. The Aswan Governorate recently announced plans to set up 39 solar power projects with a total cost of $3 billion, which will be set up as per the rules and regulations already stated by the government, and will be spread over an area of 8,843 acres in Benban, west of the Nile River. This is the same site where the solar power park is being planned.
Some of the world’s leading renewable energy project developers have announced plans to set up large-scale solar power projects in Egypt. SkyPower IGD will set up 3 GW power generation capacity and 600 MW solar cell/module fabrication facility at an estimated investment of $5 billion. Terra Sola plans to invest $3.5 billion and is reportedly working on planning to build an 800 MW solar power park. Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Group have patterned to set up 1.5 GW of solar power capacity and 500 MW of wind energy capacity.
Egypt plans to aggressively expand its renewable energy installed capacity as it aims to generate 20% electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The government has also launched an attractive feed-in tariff scheme to boost investments in the solar power sector.