2024-06-15
http://w3.windfair.net/wind-energy/news/43712-egypt-africa-energy-transition-renewable-energy-solar-wind-farm-onshore-gigawatts-capacity-consortium

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Egypt drives African energy transition

Egypt's wind energy potential is huge. Financial close has now been reached for a further 500 MW wind project. In the coming years, construction activity in the country on the Nile will increase significantly.

The pyramids still have the horizon to themselves. That could soon change. (Image: Pixabay)The pyramids still have the horizon to themselves. That could soon change. (Image: Pixabay)

A recent study published by GWEC attests to Egypt's great potential for wind power: Accelerated expansion would result in 45 percent more wind turbines, which would equate to an additional 1.15 GW, 164,000 additional full-time jobs and potentially more than $2 billion for the economy. And it appears that the country is gratefully accepting the lead role in Africa.

Egypt aims to be the continent's largest renewable energy producer by 2030, and as part of its hosting of the last World Climate Summit in November 2022, after talks with the U.S. and Germany, has announced it will ramp up its renewable energy targets to 42 percent by 2030 - five years earlier than previously planned.

Currently, renewables account for only 11 percent. The closure of at least 12 gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of five gigawatts is a key component of this massive restructuring of Egypt's energy sector. The new ambitious climate policy will be reflected in Egypt's revised National Climate Change Contribution (NDC) by June 2023.

Dr. Rania Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, commented at the time, "Egypt's country platform for the NWFE program, the Arabic translation for "fulfill commitments", takes a multi-stakeholder approach by using innovative financial modalities to accelerate implementation. The announcement is a sign of the strong partnership between Egypt, the United States and Germany in the fight against climate change." NWFE stands for Nexus of Water-Food-Energy and is an initiative unveiled by the Egyptian government at the World Climate Summit.

Now the country can report another success. The Red Sea Wind Energy consortium announced this week that it has reached financial close on another 500 MW wind farm. The financing of the Gulf of Suez Wind Farm is considered an important milestone for the project near Ras Ghareb. The new wind project is expected to provide clean electricity to more than 800,000 Egyptian households in the future and reduce the country's CO2 emissions by around 1 million tons per year.

The potential for wind energy in Egypt is huge. The solar industry is booming, too. (Image: Pixabay)

The consortium, which includes French company ENGIE as well as Orascom Construction, Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation, will operate and maintain the wind farm under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). The wind farm is expected to be connected to the grid in two phases, with full commercial operation planned for the third quarter of 2025. EETC's obligations under the PPA will be secured by the Egyptian Ministry of Finance.

This is not the first time the consortium successfully completed a project in Egypt. "ENGIE is delighted to be replicating the same partnerships as it has with the 262.5MW Ras Ghareb wind farm for the Gulf of Suez 2 which once completed in 2025 will be one of the largest onshore wind facility in ENGIE’s portfolio. We want to showcase ENGIE’s commitment to supporting the Egyptian government’s ambitions to transition to a lower carbon economy," elaborates Mo Hoosen, ENGIE Managing Director Renewables AMEA & South Africa Country Manager.

In addition to the Europeans, Arab companies are also becoming increasingly involved in Egypt, with Saudi developer ACWA Power and another consortium announcing last June the construction of a 1.1 GW wind project that will be the largest wind farm in the Middle East and one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2024. Until then, there will be a lot of excavators rolling in Egypt.

Author:
Katrin Radtke
Email:
press@windfair.net
Keywords:
Egypt, Africa, energy transition, renewable energy, solar, wind farm, onshore, gigawatts, capacity, consortium



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