Electricity minister reveals plans for alternative energy

Electricity Minister Ahmed Imam revealed plans for renewable energy development at the Egyptian-Gulf Investment Forum, stating that 10 solar energy power stations are expected by 2017. He added that there is a focus on generating electricity from wind and gas as well. 
The minister also mentioned a potential project linking electricity with Sudan and Ethiopia, noting that similar endeavors with Saudi Arabia and North Africa are going well.
The planning authorities received offers from 35 privately-owned companies to implement the stations, Imam said.
In a session about electricity issues, the minister stated the government provides procedures for organizing relations with the electricity production private sector and derives its prices from stations established and run by private firms.
Samples of contracts for buying electricity generated by private companies have also been drawn up by the government for the past 25 years.
He added that the government will give private companies incentives for working in this field, such as using a usufruct system to manage the land and provide companies with profits of up to two percent of electricity generated.  
The private sector contributes 33 percent of the government’s wind-generating plan, according to Imam. It also represents 67 percent of government investment in new and renewable energy sources in the five coming years.
The government is also planning to increase the local component of various power stations, the minister said. The country’s 10 plants for producing energy-saving lamps are almost 100 percent locally rooted. The level is 42 percent for gas-based stations, and almost 50 percent for solar energy generators. It is projected to increase from 30 to 70 percent at wind-dependent power stations. 
He added that Egypt now has a complex for manufacturing turbines to generate electricity from wind.
A new atlas for wind and solar energy has been completed, Imam said, representing a good road map for investment in electricity generation. The government also provides other incentives for investors as well as mechanisms that will be adopted to facilitate energy trading.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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