Egypt Cuts Tax and Open Land to New Renewable Energy Investments

kuraymat egypt solar thermal power plant
A flailing Egypt still aims for 20 percent renewables by 2020.

Egypt’s Supreme Council of Energy last week pushed forward a new round of concessions aimed at boosting investment in renewable and clean energy in the country. According to the Council, it said it would exempt parts and components used in the production of electricity from customs and tax if they were to be implemented in either solar or wind power operations.

The move is a positive for Egypt’s renewable energy sector, which has largely been quiet since January 2011, when an uprising ousted the former regime from power. Since then, the economic woes in the country have seen numerous projects scrapped, but the Council believes that the new measures will entice investors to go green with their energy needs.

It also stated that the “allocation of plots of land belonging to the Renewable Energy Authority would be made available to private companies working in the field.”

The goal is to establish “production projects and the sale of electric power systems for not less than two percent the total energy produced annually from the project.”

While ambitious, Minister of Electricity and Energy Mahmoud Balba’a believes it can boost the investment potential of Egypt’s alternative energy sector (see our impressive coverage and photos of the Kuraymat solar plant), which had been growing dramatically in recent years before the uprising.

“The facilities include requiring the Egyptian Company for Electricity Transmission to purchase energy produced, or to authorize transfers to entities contracted, with a commitment to prices set by the Council of Ministers, according to the system slides approved for sale of electricity to the citizens,” he said.

The ministry, earlier this year, said they hope a new 1000 MW power project aims to contribute 1,000 megawatts of power to the country and will be fully functional by 2016 to help ease Egypt’s electricity needs.

The country hopes to be using some 20 percent of all power from alternative sources by 2020. Currently, Egypt has a 200 MW wind farm on the Red Sea coast with Spain’s Gamesa and the entire region is producing some 400 MW of total wind power. There is also a 150 MW solar thermal plant 90 km south of Cairo in operation.

Image of Kuraymat solar thermal plant by Tafline Laylin/Green Prophet

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