With its installed capacity of about 3 GW, hydropower is considered the most important renewable energy source in Egypt, but it is expected that solar and wind energy will surpass it within two years.
Egypt is trying to get benefits from its natural advantages in developing local resources from renewable energies and quickly, as the daily average of sunshine is about 10 hours per day on average, while the wind speed on the Red Sea coast reaches 10 meters per second, and its rate is relatively less in the Western and Southern Sahara regions.
Therefore, the expansion of solar and wind energy is part of the government’s plans to diversify the energy mix through the rapid expansion of the capacity of these sources and so as to replace hydro energy in the mix of renewable energy sources in Egypt, and to increase the share of solar and wind from about 4% currently to 40% by 2035.
The solar energy complex in the Benban area of Aswan Governorate is considered a basic pillar for Egypt in its efforts to expand renewable energy projects. Dr. Muhammad Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, had announced that the complex, which has a capacity of about 1.5 GW, would soon be operating in 2021.
The complex is located in the far reaches of Upper Egypt, and its investments amount to about $ 2 billion. There are about 30 companies, including Norwegian and French companies that establish energy projects and commercial operations in the complex area. More than 100 Egyptian companies are participating in the project, giving Egyptian workers the opportunity to work on the project and gain experience from it.
One of the important aspects of the success of the project lies in the government’s commitment to purchase the electricity produced from it for the next 25 years, and this was the marketing guarantee of the project, which provided safety for foreign companies operating in it.
On the other hand, work is underway on the West Bakr wind farm with a capacity of 250 MW, which will increase the capacity of wind energy in Egypt by 18%. The farm is located 30 km northwest of Ras Ghareb on the eastern coast. The farm houses 96 turbines on site to generate enough electricity to power 350,000 homes once it is fully operational in 2021.