The Algeria National Committee aims to promote sustainable energy development in Algeria, as a part of the World Energy Council's energy vision. As a member of the World Energy Council network, the organisation is committed to representing the Algerian perspective within national, regional and global energy debates. The committee includes a variety of members to ensure that the diverse energy interests of Algeria are appropriately represented. Members of the committee are invited to attend high-level events, participate in energy-focused study groups, contribute to technical research and be a part of the global energy dialogue.
Mr. Chahar Boulakhras is a State Engineer in Petroleum Economics. He joined SONELGAZ in December 1999 as a Design Engineer in the former Constantine Zone / Electricity and Gas Distribution Division.
He has held several positions of responsibility: Head of District of Akbou (Center of Bejaia), Head of Commercial Department within the Agency of Bejaia, Regional Director of Distribution Tamanrasset and finally Regional Director of Distribution in Tizi-Ouzou, before being appointed Chairman and CEO of SKTM, a position he currently holds.
In particular, he took part in the opening of the In Guezam and Tinzaouatine representations, respectively 450 and 670 km from the Tamanrasset wilaya.
Mr.BOULAKHRAS is a director in several companies of SONELGAZ, in which SKTM holds shares or shares, notably, MEI, CEEG, GEAT SAT, SAH … etc.
He has participated in several national and international events, such as communicating, as an example of the day organized by MICLAT on energy efficiency, DII Algeria Workshop at the headquarters of the FCE, the Algeria-EU business forum at the Aurassi Hotel, the 22nd Energy Day organized by the ENP at CBA, the Arab-Chinese Summit in Beijing, the 11th German-African Forum in Hamburg (Germany), and more recently, the RES4MED Africa held in Rome.
Energy in Algeria
Algeria is the largest country in africa, with 5,500 km of complicated borders with Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania. The country holds a strategic position in the Western Mediterranean and, along with Morocco, was one of two North African countries to maintain political stability during the arab spring and its aftermath. Algeria’s economy is underpinned by the oil and gas sector, which accounts for more than 95% of export revenues, and 60% of government budget. Developing abundant shale gas has become a necessity for Algeria to reverse its declining domestic natural gas production and safeguard its economy. Algeria’s government is committed to shifting away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources to preserve the declining fossil resources. This is also considered as the best long-term solution to achieve environmental objectives. Nevertheless, Algeria has been slow in implementing its renewable energy program. This is a consequence of its strong reliance on fossil fuels to support the economy, along with heavily subsidised energy products. While the country is a major oil and gas producer, its economy is centralised and inflexible. Large chunks of hydrocarbon revenues are spent maintaining a wide range of state welfare and subsidy programmes. Mindful of the popular uprisings that shook neighbouring countries, the Algerian government is unwilling to risk ordering major reductions to these hand-outs. The authorities are seeking savings elsewhere, cutting public spending and freezing infrastructure projects. In march 2018, a plan to reduce imports by 15% was announced.
Sustainable Cities are a critical uncertainty as Africa is the fastest urbanising region in the world. The “Algiers Smart City Project” has been delayed for three years due to delays in completing the construction of its facilities. The Algerian government is looking to make strategic investments that will improve the management of urban systems and ultimately boost the economy. The country is keen on growing a knowledge based economy, and smart cities are a key factor for this objective.
Middle East dynamics is one of the main critical uncertainties for oil-producing Countries. With its economy being largely dependent on the oil and gas sector and OPEC, the Algerian economy is not immune to this trend. Despite the geopolitical upheavals experienced in neighbouring countries, Algeria has been able to guard against any upheavals and ensure economic growth and social stability.
US Policy is a question mark at this point as the current administration’s views could dampen US investment in Algeria and the rest of Africa. The US could miss investment opportunities in a region with the world’s fastest-growing middle class, a continent that will account for half of global population growth by 2050.
Renewable Energies is an action priority for the government as it battles access. The Algerian Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission (CREG) in 2018 issued a tender for the construction of several PV power plants with a combined capacity of 150 MW in the southwestern part of the country. The tender is part of the Government’s plan to deploy 22 GW of renewable energy power generation capacity by 2030, including 13.6 GW of PV.
Energy Efficiency is an action priority for Algeria ever since the Government announced a new national programme on energy efficiency (EE) for the years 2015 to 2030. The EE programme mainly targets three sectors: buildings, transport and industry. The objectives include the thermal insulation of 100,000 homes per year, distributing 10 million energy efficient lamps and switching 1.3 million vehicles to liquid petrol gas. Through these measures, 180,000 jobs are supposed to be created.
Economic Growth is an action priority for Algeria as the population expands and as a viable middle class is required to enable a sustained foreign investment. In order to achieve this, Algeria needs to promote investment by adopting policy measures to favopur the business climate. CONCLUSION In addition to its hydrocarbon resources, Algeria has considerable strengths in solar energy, which makes the transition to renewable energies a strategic alternative to sustain the country’s energy security. It also allows the country to continue to honour its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and the global effort to combat climate change. Finally, this transition offers prospects in terms of R&D, innovation and the emergence of a local renewable energy industry that creates wealth and jobs.
In addition to its hydrocarbon resources, Algeria has considerable strengths in solar energy, which makes the transition to renewable energies a strategic alternative to sustain the country’s energy security. It also allows the country to continue to honour its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and the global effort to combat climate change. Finally, this transition offers prospects in terms of R&D, innovation and the emergence of a local renewable energy industry that creates wealth and jobs.