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The latest round of bids for utility scale solar projects in Egypt have come in at less than 3 cents per kWh. Are we approaching the point where renewable energy will be too cheap to meter?

Clean Power

Newest Solar Tenders In Egypt Come In Under 3 Cents Per kWh

The latest round of bids for utility scale solar projects in Egypt have come in at less than 3 cents per kWh. Are we approaching the point where renewable energy will be too cheap to meter?

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is leading a campaign to bring 1.4 gigawatts of solar power to Egypt. One of the 16 proposed projects is known as Kom Ombo. Scheduled to be built in the Aswan area of the country, it will provide 200 megawatts of renewable energy — about 14% of the total.

Egyptian solar power

Credit: Complete Energy Solutions

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has received six bids for the Kom Ombo project in Egypt, according to PV Magazine. The lowest bid came from Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, a solar developer with headquarters in Spain. It is part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, which is based in the United Arab Emirates. Its bid was $0.02791 per kWh. The next lowest bid was submitted by the Saudi energy giant ACWA Power. Its bid was $0.02799 per kWh. The third lowest offer came from Norway’s Scatec Solar at $0.03045 per kWh.

EETC is now reviewing the bids before entering into a 25-year power purchase agreement with the winning bidder. Most of Egypt’s large scale solar installations will be installed in the Aswan region. The solar projects funded by EBRD are all located in a site near the village of Benban in that part of the country and will become Egypt’s first private utility scale renewable energy network.

In addition to the 16 solar installations being funded by EBRD, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp has pledged $203 million of its own financing to develop a further 13 solar power plants with a cumulative capacity of 650 MW. In total, the two organizations will manage $1.8 billion in investments — much of it from private investors —  in Egyptian solar over the next few years.

Egypt currently gets 90% of its electricity from burning fossil fuels despite being one of the sunniest nations on earth. But things are changing, with the Egyptian government now proposing to increase renewable energy to 20% of the country’s total electrical power by 2022. Egypt has suffered serious economic issues lately, making it difficult to attract local investors to the renewable energy sector. With support from EBRD and the World Bank, however, it is now moving forward toward a renewable energy future.

Not long ago, people were talking about renewables being “too cheap to meter.” At under 3 cents per kWh, that possibility is getting ever closer to reality.

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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