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The recently published 2018 report of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has set out a number of priority wind and solar projects in the public and private sectors. This is where most of the activity will take place in Egyptian power generation development over the coming five years as there is now a temporary moratorium on the construction of new thermal capacity.

The authority has divided its renewable power pipeline into two: first, projects that are under study, and, second, those that are planned. Those being studied are generally further advanced.

Wind projects under study include Masdar’s 200MW Gulf of Suez Wind II project, the NREA’s 250MW Gulf of Suez Wind I project which will be financed by the Agence Française de Développement, the European Union and other European institutions, and a 250MW wind project in the West Nile area.

Solar projects under study include a reverse auction tender for 200MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) in the West Nile area, plus four NREA-backed PV schemes including two 50MW schemes in Zafarana supported by Germany’s KfW and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the JICA-financed 20MW Hurghada Solar PV and the AFESD-funded 50MW Kom Ombo Solar PV III.

Planned wind projects include a further 1,070MW of privately financed wind generation in the Gulf of Suez, and the NREA’s Gulf of Suez Wind III, for which financial backing is being negotiated with Germany’s KfW.

Planned solar projects include a 100MW concentrated solar plant in the West Nile, 200MW of solar PV in the same area, and the 200MW Kom Ombo Solar PV I project for which advisers were appointed in September 2018.

The NREA expects these projects to contribute to the targets set out in the development strategy for the sector under which 20% of power will come from renewables by 2022 and 42% by 2035. Specifically, the NREA expects that by 2022, 12% of generation capacity will come from wind, 2% from solar and 6% from hydro. By 2035, the proportion of power generated from wind will have increased to 14% and that from intermittent solar to 22%, with a further 4% from concentrated solar power. Hydro will account for 2% of total generation capacity and nuclear 3%.

The 2022 target coincides with the conclusion of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company’s eighth five-year plan, which was inaugurated in 2017 and effectively includes a temporary moratorium on the construction of new thermal capacity. According to the EEHC’s annual report published earlier this year, “there is no need to establish new thermal generation capacity within the five-year period”. The company said it had reached this conclusion having studied the expected capacity needed to meet demand growth from different economic sectors and also to provide adequate reserve margin to account for programmed maintenance, emergency outages plus problems caused by obsolescence or poor fuel characteristics. By contrast, it added 27,400MW of capacity – mostly gas-fired – during the seventh five-year plan, the final elements of which will be commissioned after some delay in mid-2020.