World-Gen Nov/Dec 2018

WORLD-GENERATION NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 18 PERSPECTIVE CAIRO, EGYPT - Egypt has the potential to generate up to 53 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Renewable Energy Outlook: Egypt report finds that pursuing higher shares of renewable energy could reduce the country’s energy bill by up to USD 900 million annually in 2030.   Renewables could cost-effectively pro- vide up to a quarter of Egypt’s total final energy supply in 2030. Achieving the high- er targets would, however, require invest- ment in renewables to grow from USD 2.5 billion per year based on today’s policies to USD 6.5 billion per year. Under current plans, Egypt aims to source 20 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2022, ris- ing to 42 per cent by 2035. Total installed capacity of renewables in the country today amounts to 3.7 gigawatts (GW).   “This analysis offers the Egyptian ener- gy sector a roadmap, building on current ambitions and plans, to enhance our posi- tion as an energy hub connecting Europe, Asia and Africa,” said H.E. Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy. “Job creation, economic development and the growth of local manu- facturing capabilities are at the heart of our renewables program, and with the support of IRENA we can pursue our plans to grow the country’s installed capaci- ty base through smart policies, and the lat- est renewable technologies.”  Egypt can draw on an abundance of renewable energy resources to achieve higher shares of hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. To capitalize on this, the report suggests that national policy makers may benefit from periodically re-evaluating the long-term energy strategy to reflect rapid advances in renewable energy tech- nology and falling renewable power genera- tion costs.   “Remarkable cost reductions in renew- able energy in recent years are encourag- ing governments all over the world to rethink energy strategies so as to better reflect the new economics of renew- ables,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General. “Egypt’s renewable ener- gy potential is vast and the Government has now moved decisively to accelerate its deployment. The Benban solar complex with its impressive scale reflects this new momentum.”  “Building on these achievements, Egypt has the opportunity to further raise its ambition which entails substantially increased investments,” continued Mr. Amin. “Attracting these investments requires stable policy frameworks and a streamlined regulatory environment that provides clarity and certainty for investors. Investments in renewable energy not only help to meet rising energy demand but they can also contribute to fostering eco- nomic growth, creating employment and developing local manufacturing.”  EGYPT’S RENEWABLE OUTLOOK BY DAMIAN BRANDY, IRENA SUNTAX SCRAPPED BYTERESA RIBERA, SPAIN’S MINISTER OF ECOLOGICALTRANSITION The recently elected Spanish govern- ment is set to suspend the country’s contro- versial 7% solar tax, as moves towards renewables. The ‘sun tax’ is one of the most contro- versial laws in Spain and was implemented by the previous government of Mariano Rajoy in 2012. It has drawn criticism because it charges Spanish homes fitted with solar panels with an additional tax of 7% to remain connected to Spain’s electrici- ty grid should the solar panels not produce enough energy. The average family home with three solar panels will have to pay around EUR 70 each month to remain con- nected to the grid whether or not they use the electricity it generates.    Spain started its shift towards renew- able energy sources in-line with an European Union directive that requires all member states to produce 20% of their energy from renewables by 2020.   “As the energy landscape of Europe alters, and climate change becoming an even more pressing topic, it is extremely positive to see Spain joining Poland and other countries in Europe in taking the right steps to move towards renewable energy,” said Sun Investment Group CEO, Deividas Varabauskas. “SIG is also assess- ing Spain as a potential market, so we are very interested in seeing how their positive shift towards renewable energy goes. We already have experience in Spain in struc- turing and developing a solar PV projects portfolio for 40 MW with local PPA utility company, so we are eager to start new proj- ects in this market.”   Spain’s new commitment to renewable sources was also outlined by a recent EUR 450m finance package issued by the European Investment Bank, which will fund Spanish solar and onshore wind projects. Similar to Poland, which is also making the transition to solar energy, these newly fund- ed Spanish renewable projects are expected to help the country meet its 2020 EU renewable energy targets. These plants will also substitute almost 5GW of its coal-fired capacities, which are set to be closed that year. (continued page 22)