Egypt would need to more than double investment in clean energy to push the amount of electricity generated by renewables to over 50 percent, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Investments would need to be $6.5 billion a year, up from $2.5 billion currently, to boost generation from clean energy to 53 percent by 2030, Abu Dhabi-based IRENA said in a report Tuesday. That’s up from 9 percent in 2014, according to the report.
Oil-importing nations in the Middle East are pushing renewables, mostly to pare bills for imported fossil fuels. Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, currently targets producing 20 percent of its electricity from clean energy by 2022. Chronic power outages and fuel shortages helped stoke anger against the administration of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, with the protests culminating in his 2013 ouster in a military-backed popular uprising.
“Egypt’s renewable energy potential is vast and the government has now moved decisively to accelerate its deployment,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin said in statement.
Egypt inaugurated its first solar power plant in March, at Benban Solar park in the southeastern Aswan province. The government plans to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts from 32 units at the project, which is set for completion next year at a cost of $2.8 billion. Total installed capacity of renewables in the North African country is 3.7 gigawatts, including 2.8 gigawatts of hydropower and about 0.9 gigawatts of solar and wind power, according to IRENA, an inter-governmental organization that promotes the adoption of renewable energy.