Egypt to build the largest wind farm in the Middle East
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A consortium of investors headed by Saudi power generation company ACWA Power has signed an agreement with the Egyptian government on development of a 1.1 GW wind farm project to be located on the Suez Canal coast. A $1.5 billion complex is to be commissioned by the end of 2026 with the participation of Egyptian engineering and construction company Hassan Allam Holding.

The Middle East’s largest wind farm is supposed to provide clean electricity to 1.1 million households and save 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is comparable to the annual emissions of more than one million cars. The complex will be the third renewable energy project of the ACWA Power in Egypt. The company previously commissioned two 320 MW solar farms supplying the consumers in the province of Aswan in southern Egypt.

The country plans to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2035. According to the estimates made by the Ember Research Center, wind turbines, solar panels and hydropower plants (HPPs) accounted for 11% of generation in 2021; the share of gas in the generation mix was 76%, and all other fossil sources – 13%. Gas dominates largely due to its favourable resource base as Egypt accounts for 17% of Africa’s proven gas reserves and 25% of the regional gas production. The country is second only to Algeria (18% and 35%, respectively, according to BP).

Egypt is the second (after South Africa) producer of wind and solar energy in Africa: the installed capacity of its wind turbines reached 1,640 MW (22% of the total for the region) in 2021 and photovoltaic panels – 1,675 MW (15%), according to the IRENA data. Meanwhile, HPPs remain the key renewable source in Egypt, with a capacity of 2,832 MW in 2021 (versus 4,071 MW for leading Ethiopia). Thanks to this, Egypt exceeds the global average in terms of specific CO2 emissions (2.5 tons per capita against 4.5 tons in the world as a whole, according to the World Bank).

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