Egypt needs to move towards renewable energy
In Egypt, the population has doubled in the last few years and accordingly, the energy consumption, which is largely based on fossil fuel such as oil and gas increased and our resources are falling short of covering all the current needs. The energy consumption increased by about eight percent annually that utilize the entire oil production of Egypt and, increasingly, the natural gas. Egypt is the largest oil and natural gas consumer in Africa, accounting for more than 20% of total oil consumption and more than 40% of total dry natural gas consumption in Africa in 2013.
Egypt’s total primary energy consumption was 1.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil equivalent in 2013 (www.bp.com). Egypt’s primary energy supply has increased significantly, with a growth Of about 56 percent over the last decade (World Bank 20I0). It is projected that in the next 12 years, energy consumption in Egypt will more than double.
Natural gas and oil are the primary fuels used to meet Egypt’s energy needs, accounting for 94% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2013. Oil is mostly used in the transportation sector, while natural gas is used in the power sector and transportation sector in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) in vehicles.
According to the annual report of New and Renewable Energy Agency (NREA annual report 2012/2013), the total produced energy was 159,017 GWH distributed between sources according to the graph below:
Graph 1: Egypt’s total produced energy by source in GWh (2012)
Already Egypt is importing certain oil products that results in the declination of the foreign exchange reserves rapidly. The enormous increase in energy prices is cushioned by high government subsidies that increase the existing budget deficit which is not a sustainable perspective for the state and people. One way out of this situation is in particular greater use of renewable energy. The country aims to increase its share of electricity generation from nine percent to 20 percent by 2020.
Current electricity production in Egypt is estimated at 22,000 megawatts with an annual increase of at least 10%. Studies confirm that materials used in power production, like gas and other oil derivatives, will begin to run out by 2020, especially since all water resources have been utilized in hydroelectric production in Egypt.
Egypt needs to move towards renewable energy in light of the possibility that conventional energy sources could be depleted in the near future.
The aim of the PPP project is to stimulate the photovoltaic market in Egypt by using demand-oriented systems and anchor application-oriented knowledge about the solar technology in the education sector and in the private sector of the country.
Egypt is privileged to have 3,000 hours of sunlight per year. This enormous amount of energy that is being wasted should be utilized, especially as studies have shown that this amount of sunshine could potentially yield an average of six kilowatt-hours [of energy] per square meter per day year-round throughout Egypt.
- Our Problems:
- Increasing demand on electricity
- Frequent power cuts
- Constantly increasing electricity prices
- Remote & rural areas not supplied by grid power
- 100% supply using fossil fuels not sustainable
- The Solution: Decentralized renewable energy supply can be a solution
1. Three grid-connected demonstrations plants with different PV modules (thin film, polycrystalline and monocrystalline) with capacity of 4.8 kWp are located in the engineering faculty of HU. The modules can also run in an off-grid modus thanks to a small battery bank.
2. A PV laboratory is set up at the Heliopolis University and ensures a comprehensive quality management and the reliable performance verification of the demonstration plants.
3. A training program was introduced from JUWI (the system provider) for the use of photovoltaic in Egypt to teaching staff, students and invitees from the business market. The installed system is integrated into the curriculum.
4. HU has a signed an MOU with SEDA (Solar Energy Development Agency) to build a strategic alliance between HU and SEDA so that HU would provide SEDA with training facilities and equipment represented in the installed PV modules in the campus premises of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. SEDA would provide Heliopolis university with training experts and training materials based on an appropriate licensing fee agreement.
5. Egyptian stakeholders and opinion leaders from government, business and the energy sector are sensitized about the benefits and prospects of photovoltaic systems for on-grid and off-grid usage.
a. HU has arranged an Agro-photovoltaic workshop in January 2013.
b. Sekem Holding attended in the RASEED conference in March 2013 organized by GIZ where different Egyptian stakeholders discussed the future of PV in Egypt.
c. HU participated in the” First youth sustainable Summer school by Youthinkgreen” (originally based in Berlin) with one day field trip to the PV system in August 2014.
d. HU attended “Cairo Innovates, 1rst Cairo International Exhibition of Innovation”, where we discussed the Photovoltaic project among other innovation projects in November 2014.
e. HU and Sekem for Land Reclamation organized a joint-workshop for a PV solar pumping system on a desert farm in Wahat and a final dissemination event in Cairo in cooperation with the GiZ.
6. HU participated with Sekem Land Reclamation Company and Aschoff Solar GmbH to use photovoltaic technology for solar pumping as a business case (privately financed).
1. Low energy tariff in Egypt due to subsidies
2. High Investment cost of the photovoltaic technology
3. Qualified human capacities in renewable energy field to handle quality assurance and maintenance of imported systems
4. Internet problems that hinder web monitoring
5. Complicated procedures in importing renewable energy products and high custom fees
6. The dusty weather of Egypt that decreases the efficiency of the installed photovoltaic
7. Overheating problems in summer that decrease efficiency of the photovoltaic
The Photovoltaic pilot system is formed as a Photovoltaic Laboratory for engineering faculty at Heliopolis University. The PV system is formed of three different types of PV systems that are available in the PV market: thin film, monocrystalline and polycrystalline to test the performance of each type and their suitability to Egypt environment and weather.
The Photovoltaic Laboratory is installed on the roof of the Engineering Faculty building such that it would be easily accessed by students, beside, the continuous exposure of the system to the sun in winter and summer. (link 11)
PV system consists of:
6. Mounting Structure and Installation
The PV Laboratory is formed of:
- Photovoltaic solar panels as follows: 21 thin film (First solar) panels placed in 2 parallel rows with power capacity of 1470 watts , 8 monocrystalline panels (Solarworld) with power capacity of 1400 watts and 7 polycrystalline panels (CSI) with power capacity of 1645 watts.
- Three Sunny boy inverters and one sunny island inverter: one inverter for each type of PV system that gets the electricity from the PVs in DC. The three Sunny Boy inverters are connected to a big Sunny Island inverter that regulates and organize the needed share of electricity needed from those three inverters to feed electricity to the computer lab equipped with 24 PCs.
- Batteries: used to save the electricity power in during the day to be used during the evening.
- Wind sensor: that senses the wind speed and alarms through the web- based software in case of wind intensity to change the angle of installation. The software provides graphs used in controlling the performance of the system.
- Meteo Station: that measures the efficiency of absorption of sun radiation to make sure that the PV is generating its most capacity.
- Ambient temperature sensor: that measures the temperature of the weather and in case of problems like in winter; it gives alarm through the web- based software to change the angle of PV installation.
- Distribution box
- Mounting structure that was manufactured locally in a form of disconnected galvanized iron parts that can be connected with belts and screws with adjustable angles 15°, 30°, 45° for testing the angle adjustment with the efficiency of sun radiation for best outcome of panels. Other local supplied parts are the aluminum clips to fix panels, small rubber pieces under and above the PV panel between the mounting structure and the aluminum clips to prevent friction of metals with the panels.
The mounting system and the PV system were installed with the cooperation between teachers and students from the VTC, teaching assists and engineering students, engineers from Egreen under the supervision of Dr. Mohamed Elmorsy, our external consultant professor from AUC and skype communication with JUWI.
The photovoltaic installed system is equipped with web-based software to continuously monitor and document the power generation by the photovoltaic system. This software allows the PV system to be checked and supervised remotely (online) and evaluate the performance of the entire system. The wind sensor and the ambient temperature sensor are installed in the system to give alarms through the software in case of any problems and in case of the need for changing the panels’ angle of installation.
Partners & Funding Agencies
SEKEM: SEKEM was founded with the idea of sustainable development and giving back to the community.
SEKEM Vocational Training Centre (VTC): The vocational school is founded in 1997 where it trains young people in professions (such as mechanics, plumbers, and electricians and many more).
Heliopolis University: Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development is the first non-profit university in the Middle East declaring sustainable development as its overall guiding principle.
JUWI AG: Developer and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) contractor of solar power plants.
E-Green: An Egyptian company that works as supplier, installer and maintenance company that gives an integrated service for renewable energy applications.
Aschoff Solar GmbH: A Germany-based company that works as supplier, installer and maintenance company that gives an integrated service for renewable energy applications in different countries world-wide.
SEDA: The Solar Energy Development Association is a non-governmental non-profit organization that targets the widespread use of solar energy and energy saving solutions in Egypt. SEDA cooperates with various entities within the Egyptian Government to develop a road map for a national implementation and incentive scheme to promote energy solar energy solutions.
With Funding from
DEG Bank: The project was co-financed by DEG from German public funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development
3 Cairo-Belbeis Desert Road
P.O.Box 2834 El-Horreya, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 265 65 930
Mobile: (+20) 1223999146