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Solar market rebounds despite lack of funding, awareness - Daily News Egypt

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Solar market rebounds despite lack of funding, awareness

A total of 332 small power plants were connected to the national grid, outputting 23.5MW


Solar energy projects have proved their economic feasibility. The number of companies qualified by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to implement small solar projects, with a maximum capacity of 500 kw each, reached 204 companies, but they complain about the lack of awareness of solar energy, financing programmes, and dependence on importation to secure the components of their plants.

Wael El-Nashar, chairperson of Onera Systems, said his company will complete the construction of a solar power plant for South Sinai Water and Wastewater Company with a capacity of 1.250MW within two months. The solar plant will be used to desalinate water in Sinai and will be financed through a grant from the United Nations Development Programme.

He explained that the company is negotiating the implementation of a number of solar energy projects with capacities ranging from 200 to 500 kw. The company has recently finished installing a solar power plant for the German School in Dokki that outputs 120 kw and was designed to look as an open book.

El-Nashar stressed the need for providing financing programmes dedicated to individuals wishing to establish solar power plants, especially that such funds contribute to the establishment of factories to produce solar plant components locally. He explained that Onera agreed with leasing companies to finance establishing solar power stations for the benefit of customers with payment facilities and low interest.

He called for tougher controls on solar cell imports, as well as the state’s adoption of a plan to increase awareness of the importance of solar energy applications. “Citizens should be confident in the idea of using solar energy,” El-Nashar said.

Meanwhile, Wael Madkour, head of Solamisr, said that the company aims to implement stations for the industrial sector of 5MW next year, where the company is currently negotiating with two companies to install solar panels on their roofs.

He added that Solamisr has implemented 75 solar power plants with a total capacity of 1.5MW, which includes 70 projects for the domestic sector, four stations in the administrative sector, and one project in the industrial sector. All of these projects are linked to the national electricity grid.

He added that the company installed solar panels in the headquarters of the Union National Bank – Egypt, where it put about 1,500 solar panels on the facade of the building, up to 13 floors, beside the installation of a solar plant at the top of the building, where the goal is not only to produce energy, but the use of solar panels instead of glass.

Madkour stressed the need to raise awareness among citizens to use solar energy in their buildings and factories and for the state to adopt initiatives to stimulate the use of solar energy, following the campaign for using LED lightning.

He called for testing the solar cells and systems that are being installed to ensure their efficiency and quality, stressing that the challenge during the coming period is the possibility of networks to absorb the capacity produced from solar energy.

Mostafa Abou El-Goukh, chief executive of Solring, said his company went to sell solar systems in pickup trucks, which contribute to the provision of electricity to operate refrigerators and a full kitchen inside the car. The company recently sold an ice cream car with solar-powered refrigerators.

He added that the company has sold seven mobile ice cream tricycles using solar power plants. The company is focused on installing solar panels for cars to operate kitchens. The cost of tricycles amounts to EGP 35,000-40,000, while for cars, it costs some EGP 200,000.

He pointed out that he received funding from Misr El Kheir Foundation worth EGP 150,000 at the beginning of his project, expecting that his sales will increase in the coming period in conjunction with the final lifting of subsidies on electricity prices.

He explained that Solring aims to sell 25 cars with an integrated solar-powered kitchen next year. The company has obtained a licence from the NREA to install solar systems.

Ibrahim Hashim, director of Italian Med Group, said his company has implemented three solar projects in Kafr El-Sheikh area with a capacity of 9 kW. They seek, in the coming period, to implement solar stations on top of residential buildings with capacities reaching up to 400 kW, in addition to obtaining a land in Aswan to construct a small solar power plant.

He explained that the main challenge facing solar energy projects is the lack of knowledge and awareness of its importance, in light of the high prices of electricity, and the provision of funding from banks at low interest. The total produced energy from small solar power plants installed on buildings reached 23.5 MW, including 116 stations installed on top of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and its subsidiaries buildings producing 2.5MW, in addition to 73 stations producing 13.2MW, and 143 stations operating on Net Metering scheme to generate 7.7MW.

Excerpts:

Demands to launch national initiatives to spread the use of renewable energy like LED bulbs

Onera Systems completes a solar station for a water company in Sinai within two months

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