Post-Revolution Egypt Wants New Wind Farms

egypt at night imageMake wind power? Egypt wants to talk to you about its electricity needs.

In a summary of the policy environment for wind power in Egypt completed after the revolution earlier this year, Reve sums up the policy background to Egypt’s dramatic new post-revolution energy and environmental tenders plan, which we have covered at Green Prophet too.

They’re big plans, appropriately, for an energy-hungry nation that has been prone to blackouts, . (Egyptian Energy Crisis Sends Protesters into the Streets) If successful, Egypt will get 12% of its energy from wind power.Egypt had its wind potential assessed in 2003. With wind speeds of 7-10 m/s, almost the entire country is ideal for wind power, with the best areas in the Gulf of Suez coast.

Then in 2008, the Egyptian government passed an ambitious plan to produce 20% of its energy from renewables, with 12% to come from wind. The Egyptian cabinet has approved inducements to wind power development, including exemption from customs duties and 20 to 25 year power purchase agreements with government guarantees.

Now a 7,600 square kilometer region has been earmarked by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) for wind development. NREA has obtained permits for land allocation and leases to wind farm developers.

The next step will be for the NREA to put out final tenders to get offers for competitive bids internationally to build new wind farms. One is to be in the Gulf of El Zayt, and the other two in the Gulf of Suez. Tenders for offers to build three wind farms at 250 MW each will be chosen in July 2011.

Egyptian wind farms will also be eligible for carbon credits under the EU Clean Development Mechanism(CDM), which allows businesses and governments in industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries.

Egypt already has its first wind farms, thanks to the CDM. Denmark, Spain and Germany  collaborated on building the 545 MW Zafarana wind farm, by the Red Sea coast, just completed in 2010. Another 5 MW, the first part of a wind farm to total 1,120 MW when complete is being built by Germany, Japan and Spain funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

To date 3,000 projects have been developed worldwide due to CDM funding, avoiding carbon emissions totaling 600 million tonnes. Another 2,600 projects are now in progress.

Image: Bad Astronomy

Read more on Egypt’s wind energy:
Egypt in Top 22 Nations for Renewable Investment Potential
What Egyptian Regime Change May Mean for Regional Energy Cooperation

What is the Future of MENA Solar With the Region in Chaos?

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