PROJECTS: North African nations set to become major solar power producers: report

Egypt crosses 2 GW solar power mark

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers set up the photovoltaic solar panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers set up the photovoltaic solar panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

North African countries have made big strides in their plans to expand reliance on renewable energy and most of them are set to join the league of countries with an installed solar power of at least 1 GW.  

Egypt is the only North African country to have crossed this mark but Algeria and Morocco are on their way to join the club which currently groups 37 nations, according to the African Solar Industry Association (AFSIA).  

In its 2021 report released this week, AFSIA, based in Kigali, Rwanda, said that to date around 700 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic power have been installed worldwide.  

Overall, 37 countries across the world have already installed more than 1 GW of solar but only two African states - South Africa and Egypt - are among those countries.  

“This is very little, but it may soon change as different African countries have developed a growing appetite for solar recently,” the report said.  

It said that Algeria, with a 4 GW pipeline, is a major contender for the gigawatt club. 

With new institutions and officials in place, it is reasonable to expect that this plan or part of it will finally be moving forward and will see the gas-rich country move very quickly with massive projects, the report said.  

Neighboring Morocco, which has put in place a more transparent and efficient tender and development process over the years, has plans to add almost 2 GW of new projects in the coming years and has just entered a crucial stage of the Noor PV II – Phase 1 400 MW tender, the report added.  

Highlighting briefly renewable energy developments in other African nations, the report noted that Libya has launched a National Plan for Developing Solar Energy with the aim of achieving 10 percent renewable contribution to the electricity mix by 2025.  

In Mauritania, there is a government target to expand solar energy to 20 percent of the total energy sources by 2020 and 35 percent by 2030 while Tunisia aims to reach a production of 3.6 GW by 2030 under an ambitious solar strategy.  

The report said another ambitious plan in Morocco aims to boost renewable energy to 50 percent of the energy mix by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.  

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon) 

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com

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