Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
Egypt (Arab Republic)
Egypt is located in the world's solar belt and has an excellent solar availability. The Egyptian WEC Member Committee reports that average solar radiation ranges from about 1 950 kWh/m2/yr on the Mediterranean coast to more than
2 600 kWh/m2/yr in Upper Egypt, while about 90% of the Egyptian territory has an average global radiation greater than 2 200 kWh/m2/yr.
Recognising the important role renewable energy can play in meeting future energy needs, the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has set itself the target of providing at least 3% of the country's electrical energy demand from renewables by the year 2010.
Photovoltaic (PV) solar systems are presently considered economically advantageous only in remote applications of low power demand, where a grid extension appears non-economic, while conventional stand-alone power sources (e.g. diesel generator sets) show excessive operating costs, in addition to polluting the environment.
A number of PV systems totalling about 4.5 MWp have been installed in Egypt, primarily by NREA, but also by other national and international entities, including some private companies.
The main applications are water pumping, desalination, rural clinics, telecommunications, rural village electrification, ice-making, billboards and cathodic protection.
The Egyptian Member Committee has also reported that a protocol has been confirmed between the NREA and the Italian Ministry of Environment and Territory (IMET) in the framework of the Renewable Energy for the Mediterranean Countries Program MEDREP, to use PV systems for lighting applications in two villages located in the Siwa Oasis (Matrouh Governorate), consisting of 100 households, 2 medical centres, 1 school, 3 mosques and 80 street lamps. The implementation of these projects is greatly dependent on the availability of funds (mainly international support), owing to the relatively high investment costs.