Once the most powerful seat of learning in Egypt, Alexandria has some catching up to do when it comes to renewable energy. Which may be why the governor has entered into an agreement with a Catholic technical institute to bolster photovoltaic education and installations.
Alexandria governor Muhammad Abbas told Daily News Egypt that the city’s partnership with the Don Bosco Institute, an Italian group with Catholic roots, is one of the country’s most important projects.
The idea to install a photovoltaic array on Don Bosco’s roof to provide energy for its own street lighting first arose in 2009, when Egypt imported its first solar cell from Germany, according to DNE.
A group of German, Polish and Italians decided to build the country’s first inverter in order to enable the conversion of DC to AC and 10 power distribution points were installed.
While one rooftop array is hardly going to ease the country’s incredible energy deficit, Don Bosco has worked with both the Egyptian Government and the European Union to officially recognize a practical educational system that it has devised.
Teaching all courses in Italian, the institute offers diplomas and certificates in various technical aspects of solar energy production, and recently opened its first electronics laboratory.
While most of Egypt’s existing solar energy developments have taken place in and around Cairo, like the Kuraymat hybrid solar plant, Abbas expressed a genuine interest in embracing solar.
He said that ” solar energy is clean and renewable and does not give off emissions,” according to DNE.
Previously, Egypt resisted developing their abundant solar resources because of the high cost of solar panels – especially when they are imported.
But now Abbas claims that solar makes sense financially since the panels last for as long as 25 years and require very little maintenance.