At 80 million, Egypt already has the highest population in the Arab world, and it is growing fast economically, with over 6.5% growth expected this year. Its demand for electricity, understandably, given these pressures, is extraordinary.
Egypt has recently had blackouts due to electricity shortages, sending rioting protesters into the streets. It could have taken a timid route to build fossil energy to supply its rapidly growing population. But instead it is implementing an admirably bold policy to act effectively to get 20% of renewable power on its grid by 2020, with 12% coming from wind power.
Our previous story noted that Egypt has no lack of interested renewable energy bidders. A total of 72 international companies have already expressed interest in the formal tender to be held in 2011 by obtaining the documents to make bids.
The World Bank is estimating that 7,200 Megawatts could potentially be developed by 2022 in the Gulf of Suez area, which it ascertains to be among the best wind resources in the world.
Looking towards the European Union, Spain, Japan and German for funding loans, Egypt has proved adept at utilizing Clean Development Credits to fund renewable energy projects, with a loan of $1.2 billion Egyptian pounds from The World Bank. It is considered the only Middle Eastern nation to be among the best investment spots for renewables worldwide.
The nation had already put out bids for solar production and selected several companies to go forward with contracts to produce solar power for its energy-hungry nation. This year, Egypt is turning its attention to adding wind power contracts. The first of these wind farm contracts have already been signed. Egypt teamed up with Abu Dhabi last year on a 200MW wind farm near the Gulf of Suez. Next, once it has met its wind power production target, it plans to request bids for a smaller amount of nuclear power: 1 GW, by 2019.
From a US perspective, such a straightforward renewable energy policy is enviable, indeed. Egypt’s government makes the decisions on buying renewable power.
More on Egypt’s energy:
Egyptian Energy Crisis Sends Protesters to the Streets
Egypt in Top 22 Nations for Renewable Investment Potential
21st Century Egypt Powers Two Villages Entirely With Solar Power