As part of its $US 500 million framework to support Egypt’s renewable energy development, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on Wednesday that it is financing 16 new solar power plants in the country with a capacity of 750 megawatts.
The plants are located at a solar site in the vicinity of the Benban village in Upper Egypt, which once completed will be “the largest solar site in Africa,” with a capacity of 1.8 gigawatts, a statement released by the Bank read.
The new plants are expected to reduce Egypt’s carbon dioxide emissions by 900,000 tonnes per year.
In a previous statement, the bank said that these “will also be the first private utility-scale renewable projects in a sector that is otherwise dominated by the use of hydrocarbons.”
In June, the EBRD approved the $US 500 million framework to finance renewable energy projects in Egypt under the Egyptian government’s feed-in-tariff program. The program aims to encourage private investment in wind and solar power in the country.
With the approval of the framework, Head of Power and Energy at the EBRD Harry Boyd-Carpenter said, “This is a major milestone in our support for renewable energy in Egypt. We have been working with the Egyptian authorities since 2014 to help them fulfill their ambitious goals in this area.”
Meanwhile, in a new report by Bloomberg Climatescope released earlier this week, Egypt was ranked second among countries having made most progress in the transition to renewable energy since last year.
Assessing 71 counties in emerging clean energy markets, Egypt climbed 23 places, settling on place 19 from last year. This makes Egypt the second Arab nation after Jordan in the ranking’s top-20 list.