The National Bank of Egypt has announced that it will give low interest loans to hotels throughout southern Sinai and Red Sea provinces that are commited to switching to renewable energy, according to local press. The move comes in advance of crippling energy shortages during the hottest time of the year.
When temperatures rise from May to October, so too does energy consumption as Egyptian residents fire up their air conditioners.
But Egypt is already running at a chronic energy deficit and consumption spikes cause widespread cuts – at great cost to the local economy.
Particularly hard hit is the tourism industry, which is so crucial to the country’s bottom line.
In order to secure tourism against energy shortages, the bank has entered into an agreement with the Solar Energy Development Association (SEDA) to empower hotels to switch to renewable energy.
“Increased electricity use during the summer, combined with diesel shortages has led to a spate of increasingly frequent blackouts nationwide as the government struggles to provide fuel to keep up with the mounting consumption,” Ahram Online reported.
The protocol is reserved mostly for high end hotels that can afford to make the investment in alternative forms of energy, but smaller businesses will still suffer.
Cairo residents and businesses will lose power for a few hours at a time during peak hours, but other parts of the country are hit harder.
In April, the former Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal told local press that the ministry would import fuel worth $500 to $600 million in order to bridge the gap between supply and demand.
Image of Red Sea hotel, Shutterstock