The Egyptian government has had a busy weekend on the energy front. Yesterday, it signed two separate deals which will see a massive 5GW of solar power added to the country’s grid as part of its commitment to generate at least 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
By comparison, last week we were very excited about the opening of the 100MW KaXu solar plant here in South Africa. In total, we have less than a single gigawatt of solar power currently connected to our grid.
The deal in Egypt confirmed plans by the Canadian firm Skypower to build 3GW of solar power plant in the country, which had previously been announced in February, as well as a new commitment to plants capable of 2GW production built by firms based in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.
According to the Terra Sola Consortium, the second deal is worth $3.5bn (R43.4bn). The cost of the first deal has not been disclosed.
For reference, the cost of the Eskom bailout recently announced by the South African government was R23bn. Current plans for dealing with the energy crisis reportedly include generating 9.6GW of power from nuclear power stations which will cost $50bn (R620bn, although some estimates have placed this figure at R1tn) and come online in 2030.
Egyptian housing minister Mostafa Madboul said that the extra capacity was required because the government is planning on building a new administrative centre outside of Cairo.
“The dependency, to a large extent, will be on renewable energy,” explained Madboul. “Ninety square kilometre of solar power fields will generate electricity for the city. We are talking about a global city. Our vision is one of the utmost quality.”[Via – AllAfrica]