Renewables Integration into Egypt’s Energy Portfolio

Last June 5 to 10, 2014, Psychology Volunteers on Bikes External Relations Officer Monica Manluluyo attended the 2014 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability. The 6-day conference was held in Tongji University, Shanghai, China where experts on environment, energy, urban development and economy discussed regional and global ecological civilization and green development in the new age together with participants around the world.

72637_670143619676343_1637488689_nAhmed Aly is a student of Technische Universitat Berlin and was an awardee of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) scholarship for the 2014 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability (ISCES). He talked about Diversifying Egypt’s energy portfolio – options for renewable during the 2014 ISCES: Symposium on Energy Transition and Climate Change held last June 5, 2014 at Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Egypt has an installed electric capacity of 30GW and an annual generation of 160TWh. Ten (10%) percent of their annual generated electricity comes from renewable sources; 3GW from Hydropower, 550 MW from Wind, and 20 MW from Solar. Generation plants and T&D grids are state owned and operated, so electricity is significantly subsidized. However, since 2013, there have been frequent power outages of up to 2 hours a day.

To confront the crisis that Egypt is facing, the country’s official plans include conventional, coal-fired, nuclear and renewable power plants. As of 2013, fossil fuel consumption reached 30 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe). By 2020, there is an expected 3-5GW producing coal-fired plant, a 5GW nuclear plant in El-Dabaa and 20% shares of renewable energy. Both coal-fired and nuclear power plants are dirty sources of energy, but to solve the electric problems that the country is facing, they are willing to install these plants.

Renewable sources of energy are included in Egypt’s power plant portfolio with the aim of – simultaneously optimizing capacity expansion and unity commitment of Renewable Energy and conventional power generation technologies.

The bottom line is, the power plant portfolio aims to maintain energy security (minimizing the frequency of blackouts) and ensure a ‘bit cleaner future’ for the children.