Egypt is planning to auction two gigawatts (1,000 megawatts) each in wind and solar power next month. The government is expecting an investment of about $7 million in the development of this capacity.
In addition to renewable energy auctions, the government also plans to offer four gigawatts of coal-fired power generation for bidding.
These auctions are part of long-term programme that will see the Egyptian government auction a total of 30 gigawatts of power generation capacity based on renewable energy and coal.
The government expects that solar power projects auctioned next month would be commissioned by June 2015, while the wind energy projects would be commissioned by the end of 2015.
Solar energy panels in the Egyptian desert
They also plan to set up manufacturing units to supply equipment for renewable energy projects and allow domestic manufacturers to compete with overseas suppliers.
The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) in Egypt has set a target to generate 20 per cent of the country’s power demand from renewable energy sources by 2020, which includes 12 per cent from wind power and 8 per cent from other technologies, such as solar power and hydro power.
Aswan dam provides hydro power
The expected capacity addition is slanted towards wind energy, as solar power is still costly in Egypt, while hydro power potential has been largely utilised.
A wind power farm in Egypt
Egypt is among the largest generators of wind energy in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, and plans to further develop its wind energy infrastructure in an aggressive fashion.
The government plans to add 7,200 megawatts wind energy capacity by 2020, including 2,500 megawatts from private companies.
They are expected to finance the capacity addition through international assistance.
The country will make use of $5.2 billion funds from the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other development agencies.
Egypt is also collaborating with Germany and Italy for development of solar thermal power and solar photovoltaic power projects.