The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has allocated $500m to finance solar energy in Egypt in 2016, according to Ahram Online.
The program aims to support private sector in constructing utility-scale solar projects with a generation capacity of 2000 MW, EBRD said.
The EBRD expects the earmarked sum to finance several such plants, while mobilizing up to $1.5b in debt and equity from other financiers, and the project cost to reach $4b in total, a Bank’s statement read.
As Egypt has increased its renewable ambitions over the past year, including opening the region’s largest wind farm in December, companies have taken notice.
In early December, the Egyptian government signed agreements with 24 renewable energy companies under new cost-sharing laws. In 2015, SkyPower IGD announced a $5b investment in solar panels to generate 3GW of power; Terra Sola announced a planned $3.5b solar plant investment; and ACWA and Masdar announced plans to generate a combined 3.5GW of renewable energy.
Among the companies with an increasing stake in Egypt’s solar energy sector is REC Group – a Norwegian firm that is the largest European brand of solar panels. In September, REC and Orascom announced plans to build solar plants in Egypt. In an interview with Daily News Egypt, REC Vice President Luc Graré touted Egypt as a highly advantageous area for renewables investment – with a strategic location and enviable sun and wind resources.
“I think Egypt is in a leading position to show Africa the way to generate electricity from solar power, because it also has the workforce capable of doing this. Moreover, I think Egypt could export electricity in the future to Sudan and Ethiopia. I think in 2020 or 2025 Egypt might have the possibility to export power to other countries,” Graré said.