The Ministry of Electricity is looking into using solar energy to generate power to light outdoor advertising banners instead of depending on traditional electricity, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Hamed Shaker said Saturday.
Shaker said the move is in line with the government’s programme to decrease the amount of electricity used to light streets, which is currently being implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development, State Information Service reported.
The ministry will start with advertising banners in greater Cairo, which represent 4% of total advertising banners throughout Egypt, Shaker said, adding that this includes only major streets, highways and bridges.
Street lighting represents 7% of the country’s overall power usage, Shaker said.
In April, the Ministry of Environment announced that Italy has provided Egypt with an EGP 3.5m grant for the development of solar powered electrical units the Wadi Al-Hitan region of Fayoum Governorate’s Wadi Al-Rayan wildlife reserve.
In a similar move, former electricity minister Ahmed Imam announced a plan in February to place solar energy stations on top of each ministerial building.
Philips Egypt initiated in April a lighting centre using solar energy in Cairo’s Ezebt El Hagganna slum area. In partnership with Shell Egypt, Philips also equipped in March a village in Marsa Matrouh with solar lighting systems in houses, on streets, and at other service establishments.
The Ministry of Petroleum stated in March that it has been calling on energy consumers to depend on renewable energy since 2007, which marks the beginning of the energy deficit.
Egypt aims to produce 20% of its energy using new and renewable sources by 2020, Imam said.
To address the energy issue, the government said it plans to import additional quantities of natural gas, improve the efficiency of transferring fuel and diesel to stations, and add more stations to the national grid.
In the current fiscal year, electricity subsidies stand at EGP 23bn in the state’s budget.