(Originally published on InspiredEconomist.com)
Capturing the headlines of the solar industry in the last several weeks, Egypt is attracting the attention of major international solar developers and investors. Following the recent Economic Development Conference held in March, many headlines have further underscored the reality of Egypt’s economic renaissance.
Coupling this economic renaissance with the rise of Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), the country is attracting record levels of foreign investment. Involving significant numbers in both clean energy GW and billions USD, the world is taking a strong interest in the historic transactions.
Egypt’s Blossoming Economic Renaissance
“We aim at transforming Egypt into a pivotal centre for commerce and circulation of energy,” said Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, speaking in January at the 2015 World Future Energy Summit (WEFS) in Abu Dhabi. Continuing, Al-Sisi explained that Egypt’s transformation would happen by “making use of its geographical location between the biggest producers and consumers of energy, with the presence of infrastructure, especially the Suez Canal, the most important waterway, with its new extension.”
Less than two months later, President Al-Sisi is reaping the benefits of restored stability and confidence in Egypt’s position on the international playing field of major world economies. Recently concluding its first-ever Economic Development Conference held in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh resort on the Sinai Peninsula, the three-day international event generated a monumental wave of support from foreign delegates and dignitaries. Over 2,000 delegates were in attendance, representing over 112 countries.
Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman announced a collective value of USD 38.2 billion in signed agreements and investments on the Economic Summit’s third day. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab reported that at least USD 18.6 billion of the agreements are going towards engineering, procurement, and construction projects. The final day of Egypt’s historic economic conference was especially auspicious for the solar industry, as many agreements were signed with the NREA for constructing solar power plants with a combined total of over 6GW.
Over USD 92 Billion in Signed MOUs
Minister Salman added at the conclusion of the Economic Summit that the total value of signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) is USD 92 billion. The following breakdown of just a few important investments and agreements provide a clear testimony to Egypt’s blossoming economic revival:
• Gulf countries alone pledged USD 12.5 billion in financial aid and investments during the conference.
• The European Investment Bank has planned USD 2.1 billion (2 billion euros) of investments in Egypt.
• The World Bank allocated USD 5 billion for its Egypt program of job creation and social services for the next four years, resulting in more than doubling its annual portfolio to USD 1.2 billion.
• The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed six MOUs worth USD 3.875 billion.
• Oil, gas, and mining sector MOUs are valued at a total of USD 23.5 billion.
• Electricity and power MOUs worth around USD 22 billion were signed by Egypt’s Electricity Minister.
• Food, Housing, Transportation and Logistics projects also brought in substantial numbers in billions USD.
Egypt’s Solar Industry Association Offers Timely Market Report
Now that the dust has settled in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt’s Solar Industry Association has stepped up to provide timely information for incoming solar developers to help facilitate partnerships with local solar industry firms. Egypt’s Solar Energy Market – FiT Program and Beyond 2015 is the title of a new report just released by Egypt SIA.
The new market report by Egypt Solar Industry Association offers detailed information on current developments in Egypt’s solar market. Also provided in the report, according to Egypt SIA, are “in-depth perspectives from some of the key stakeholders, including regulators, laws firms, developers and EPC contractors who are active in the emerging Egyptian solar energy market.”
Questions addressed in Egypt Solar Industry Association’s new report include:
• Which banks are expected to provide financing?
• How easy will it be for international solar energy developers to set up special purpose vehicles in Egypt and secure land plots for their projects?
• Which PV system components will be locally sourced and which parts are likely to be exports in the first round of power plants?
Additionally, the Egypt Solar Industry Association report “offers a unique outlook on solar developments beyond the feed-in-tariff scheme; tracking opportunities in various industries and governorates across Egypt.” A lengthy list is also included in the report, providing contacts for local solar energy companies, together with a helpful description of each firm’s activities.
Access the new Egypt SIA report: Egypt’s Solar Energy Market – FiT Program and Beyond 2015