Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rural Egypt Villages Now Powered by Solar

For the first time ever in Egypt, two villages are now being run entirely on solar power, Hassan Younis, Egypt’ s minister of Electricity and Energy said on Thursday.

The two villages, Oum Al-Sagheer and Ein Zahrah are located in Siwa, 500 miles west of Cairo.

The villages will get their solar fix, not only for streets, houses and schools but also mosques and other local facilities.

The project is being realized by a fund from the Italian government to power a number of remote villages in Egypt.

Local reports stated the fund was an estimated three million Egyptian pounds.

Younis also revealed plans of starting a solar power station in upper Egypt with the power of 100 megawatts and another solar power station run by Photovoltaic cells – basic solar cells – in the city of Hurgada on the Red Sea coast.

Cairo, earlier this year, also announced plans to spend around $200 billion in an effort to triple its electricity output, which currently stands at some 25,000 megawatts. The main bulk of that funding will be toward solar and wind power.

“We need to get some funding in order to continue to push on with all these exciting initiatives,” electricity ministry official Hassan Ahmed told Bikya Masr on Wednesday. He said that the ministry is looking forward to “making good use of the funding in order to show the world the alternative energy can support massive portions of the population.”

The World Bank money is going to the Kom Ombo Solar Power Plant in Upper Egypt and is expected to supply 100 megawatts of power, MENA said, citing Egypt’s electricity minister.

Of the $270 million, $100 million will be invested into the Clean Technology Fund affiliated with the World Bank and the remaining $170 million will be a loan from the bank.

Already, the World Bank has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Egypt electricity infrastructure, including $600 million in August to fund the North Giza Power Plant just outside the capital, Cairo.

The North Giza plant will supply 1,500 megawatts of electricity, MENA said in its report.

According to an environment ministry official in the Red Sea, Egypt has the potential to “show the world how renewable energy can be profitable and sustainable.”


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

What a heartening and forward thinking initiative to make use of their wealth of sun rays. And so much better for the land than damming the Nile. The benefit of damming seemed to be a high price to pay for the rich nutrients for the land that came with flooding. It's easy for me to say because I'm not there, but I would like to see man learn to live with nature and appreciate the process. I used to live in Virginia Beach where they bulldozed the sand dunes to build ocean front houses and hotels and ended up with little to no beach after storms because the natural protection was taken away.

I'm also intrigued that they are getting money from Italy and wonder how that works. I didn't see more information in the referenced source.

As always, your articles intrigue me and make me want to learn more.