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Strategy management consultant & Engineer. I write about politics, economics, business,and technology. I'm a nationalist with libertarian capitalist views


لماذا التمسك بالوزير حسن يونس في الحكومة؟ مصر والطاقة المتجددة: طاقة الرياح والطاقة الشمسية

Egypt Steps Up Plans for Wind Power Farms

By Oilprice.com Nov 08, 2011 11:15 am
The Egyptian government is seeking to build production facilities to manufacture selective wind turbine components for the increasing demand of local and regional markets.
Egypt currently has a total electricity capacity of about 23,500 megawatts, which the government hopes to increase to 58,000 megawatts by 2027.

A prime potential element in increasing this electrical output? Renewables. One might think, given Egypt's climate, solar? Wrong -- wind power, which currently contributes less than 1 percent to Egypt's energy mix.

In 2003, Egypt had its wind potential assessed and published a wind atlas, which found that with wind speeds of 7 to 10 meters per second, almost the entire nation was ideal for wind power installations, with the country's best areas being along the Gulf of Suez coast. Two years later, the atlas's coverage was expanded to mapping the country's wind potential in detail and determined that large desert regions both to the east and the west of the Nile River, as well as parts of Sinai, have average annual wind speeds of 7 to 8 meters per second.

Three years ago, the government of former President Hosni Mubarak approved a progressive and ambitious project by 2020 to produce 20 percent of its energy from renewables, with 12 percent being generated by wind power. Mubarak's cabinet approved incentives for wind power development, including exemption from customs duties and 20- to 25-year power purchase agreements with government guarantees, a policy that the country's new transitional government has endorsed.

According to the World Bank, if the policy comes to fruition, Egypt will realize a 7,200-megawatt wind power capacity, cut vehicle emissions through improved public transportation, and make industry more energy-efficient.

Jonathan Walters, transport and energy manager for the World Bank's Middle East and North Africa regions, said that "high and persistent" winds in the Gulf of Suez suggest Egypt has "excellent potential for wind power -- among the best in the world."

The European Union's Clean Development Mechanism (or CDM), which permits businesses and governments in industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries, has already become involved in developing Egypt's nascent wind power industry.

CDM members Denmark, Spain, and Germany collaborated on building Egypt's first wind farm, the 545-megawatt Zafarana wind facility, located 80 miles south of Suez on the Red Sea Coast, which came online last year.

The Zafarana wind farm began construction in 2001. In 2010, 120 megawatts of wind capacity were added to Zafarana in cooperation with the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), taking the facility's total installed capacity to 545 megawatts, allowing it last year to generate 1,147 gigawatt hours of electricity.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also involved in securing financing for Egyptian wind power projects.

Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis is now seeking international funding to help underwrite the country's largest proposed wind facility of 120 megawatts; Egypt's private sector will underwrite 63 percent of the project, according to a press release from Cairo's Egypt State Information Service. If all goes well, Younis said the 120-megawatt facility is scheduled to become operational in 2013.

Bigger plans are afoot. According to Younis, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy has issued new competitive bidding tenders for underwriting a 1,000-megawatt wind farm, scheduled for completion in 2015-2016, along with three other wind facilities. Under the terms of the government tender, investors will finance, build, and operate the power facilities for a period of 20 to 25 years, selling the power generated by their wind farms to the state-owned Egyptian Electric Company at prices approved by the government.

The largest bottleneck thus far to expanding Egypt's wind power facilities is securing funding, but Cairo scored some successes even before the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. In mid-2010, the World Bank agreed to lend Cairo $220 million to build infrastructure that would connect wind farms to the national grid and to support some of the other wind farm projects planned in the country.

The Egyptian government is seeking to build production facilities to manufacture selective wind turbine components for the increasing demand of local and regional markets, initially focusing on producing turbine towers and blade facilities for the local market to supply a projected 400 megawatts of facility needs per year and then to export products to the emerging North African and Middle Eastern markets. The New and Renewable Energy Authority estimates that the blade manufacturing project will require an estimated investment of $59 million and the tower industry $147 million.

Ancient Egyptians worshiped the sun god Ra. If all goes to plan, then Ra might have to share his primacy with Qebui, god of the north wind, and Maahes, the god of war and weather.

This article was written by John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com.



Exclusive Pictures from Green Prophet: Egypt’s Kuraymat Solar in Operation

Among the few rewards of blogging are the field trips supplied to see clean energy technology in action. On one such bloggers’ clean tech tour last summer in Finland, I met the (then very pregnant) editor of Green Prophet, a site set in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and she subsequently invited me to write for her site.
The region is a joy to write about, because – compared with the US, hobbled by its bizarrely obstructionist Republican party – the commitment to renewables at the government level in so many MENA nations is implementable. Policy is supported by the proximity to the EU, and its Clean Development Mechanism, which funds renewables as part of the EU commitment to the Kyoto Accord and the resulting climate-stabilising policies of carbon constraint.
Pictured: Paul van Son, Desertec CEO, an idealistic desert expert with the sensitivity required for conducting delicate negotiations and dealing with diverse cultures, together with the very progressive Mahmoud Attia Mustafa, Vice Chairman of NREA, Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority.
The MENA region is now jumping with clean energy activity as a result, including the actual beginnings of Desertec, the visionary half-trillion dollar plan to power 15% of Europe from the North African desert across the Mediterranean, and the Moroccan plan to power 42% of its kingdom with solar.
Taffline Laylin, one of my fellow writers at Green Prophet just posted her pictures from one such tour. She attended the Desertec conference  in Cairo this month. (And it’s not all rainbows and sunshine: she did wind up having to take taxis around because of unwanted advances in the Cairo streets). But the revolution has changed little in the renewable direction of Egypt, which has been terrific, even before the revolution.
Her field trip to see Egypt’s first solar thermal power plant yielded some of her typically terrific pictures, of the new 150 MW Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) power plant just opened 95 kilometers south of Cairo that I reported earlier this year.
“Brimming with the kind of energy that infuses a school field trip, roughly 80 professionals from the renewable energy industry packed into two large buses outside the Semiramis International Hotel in Cairo last Friday,” she says.
Iberdrola was awarded the $220 million contract to build Kuraymat by the Egyptian government’s New Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) in September 2007 after an international public tendering process, and the company began work on building it in 2009, near the grid, 95 kilometers from Cairo.
It began operation in July of 2011, and has been feeding solar energy into the Egyptian grid every day since.
Funding included a $50 million grant from the World Bank and a $190 million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Like all solar thermal plants, it is just made of steel and mirrors, not the photovoltaic panels that most people assume comprises utility-scale solar projects. In fact few utility-scale solar projects are PV. Most use the sun to make steam-powered electricity, one way or another, using the same kind of turbines to make electricityas the old fashioned fossil fuel plants.
In fact this one keeps those same turbines running at night, too. It moonlights on fossil power. The plant operates at night as a  110 MW combined cycle gas power plant. But desert days are looooooong – and by day it operates as a 150 MW solar thermal plant supplying the peak hours when air conditioning is needed most.

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