The Ministry of Electricity is formulating new incentives to attract foreign and domestic private sector investments into local energy projects, as well as hashing out new regulations to facilitate the establishment of renewable energy stations and direct sale of electricity to households or factories under the independent power producer (IPP) system.
Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said in an interview with Daily News Egypt that the coming period would witness greater participation from the private sector in energy production and distribution projects.
The ministry would issue complementary measures and laws to encourage the participation of the private sector in energy projects, similar to the feed-in tariff programme.
This year will see the operation of the electrical interconnection projects with Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Greece, Shaker revealed, adding that the Egypt-Sudan interconnection project has been completed, and operation will start soon. Meanwhile, the interconnection with Saudi Arabia will kickstart in the second half of the year, with the electrical linkage with Cyprus and Greece will follow suite.
Interconnection projects strengthen security and political stability between countries as they create an atmosphere of cooperation and dialogue, and provide new job opportunities in construction and operation phases.
Egypt turned to electrical interconnection projects because it plays an important role in enhancing energy security and expansion in renewable energy in the medium and long terms.
A study is currently underway to upgrade the electrical interconnection capabilities with Levantine and North African countries, saying “Egypt will be an energy hub between Africa and Europe.”
Achieving energy integration across Arab countries requires removing obstacles and challenges that prevent the incorporation of the electricity markets. This means establishing a joint electricity market while separating the electricity transfer operators from the other operators in accordance with the policies of each country to ensure fair competition and transparency.
Shaker added that the Electricity Ministry adopted several measures, initiatives, and reform policies to secure and sustain energy supply, improve energy efficiency, attract the private sector to invest in traditional and renewable energy, build smart networks, and enhance transparency and governance.
The Electricity Ministry plans to switch into smart networks which will represent a quantum leap in the future of electricity transmission and distribution. It depends heavily on the exploitation of renewable energy resources, achieving the optimal use of electricity, and reducing the cost of its production. It also aims to turn consumers into partners in the management of the electrical system and gives them many options for purchasing electricity from different providers.
The ministry has a plan to establish 47 control centres in the distribution networks that cover the country until 2025. There is also a pilot project to install 250,000 smart metres within the scope of six distribution companies.
The ministry is currently studying the selling tariff of electricity to electric cars, as well as establishing charging units in coordination with the ministries of military production, industry, and public sector enterprises.
Shaker stressed that the Dabaa nuclear plant project will play a fundamental role in diversifying the energy resources in Egypt and enhancing its regional and international position, and places Egypt on an advanced technological breakthrough.