CAIRO: Egypt plans to utilize its year-round sunshine and its fair share of wind by producing 20 percent of its total energy needs from renewable energies by the year 2020, said Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younes.
“Eight percent of this will be hydro energy and 12 percent will come from a variety of sources, he told the Euromoney Egypt Conference on Tuesday.
He explained that this target is feasible because Egypt has the capacity to produce 30 percent renewable energy with 20 percent of it being wind energy. “Renewable energy projects like wind and solar power projects have great potential here. We have high wind speeds and solar intensity. We live on around 7-8 percent of our land, so the rest can be used for energy, he clarified. “Once these energies are created, it will be easy to connect them to the electricity grid because it already covers the entire country.
With the world currently being shattered by a global financial storm, Younes said 22 trillion tons of energy will be needed to meet global demands. With the view that oil is doomed to vanish, the minister said renewable energy will be the key to answer this demand.
“The point is whatever the case with oil and gas prices right now, they will keep rising; and after 60 maybe a 100 years, oil will not be available, he stated. “We have no choice. We have to divert to other sources. This is the only way we can extend the life of oil and gas energies.
“If we use renewable energies, we will save money in the long-term compared to using oil, and this will encourage investors to finance renewable energies.
He added Egypt has already taken steps to produce renewable energy with the first solar plant being implemented and several pilot solar programs already underway.
Egypt also inaugurated a research center for renewable energy, which will take part in research, support and development of renewable energy sources, besides training human capital on effective means of utilizing these energies.