Egypt is blessed with an average of 12 hours of sunshine most of the year. Day by day, this sunshine gives off plenty of solar energy, much more than people need for their everyday lives. In the past few years, in line with the global approach towards sustainable development, the country realised the importance of utilising this solar energy.
Stemming from his belief in entrepreneurship as a form of resistance to corruption and old-fashioned business models, in 2011, Ahmed Zahran and three of his friends decided to challenge the idea that renewable energy is expensive and inaccessible; they founded KarmSolar. Zahran was previously a Finance Advisor for oil giant Shell.
KarmSolar is a multi-utility enterprise providing off-grid solar energy and offering easy-to-use solutions in the commercial, agricultural, industrial, and hospitality sectors. Off-grid solar energy literally means meeting all your energy needs from the power of the sun alone so it is entirely self-sustaining.
“KarmSolar’s first business line was solar-powered water pumping for farms and agri-developers for which we have patents for our specially designed technology in this field. We signed our first solar water pumping project in 2012 with Fridal,” Sami El Awa, Senior Marketing & Communications Officer at KarmSolar tells Egyptian Streets.
“KarmSolar signed its first solar generation PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Juhayna in 2015, and joined the Feed in Tariff program in 2017 and established a station in Sahl Hashish. Today, KarmSolar operates 12 solar stations around Egypt, generating 31.4 MW of Installed Generation Capacity and 8.2MW of Distribution Capacity,” adds El Awa.
In general, a high initial investment is required to purchase a solar station, making solar power an inaccessible solution. To fix this, KarmSolar offers PPAs to make solar solutions more accessible to local companies.
“Through PPAs, KarmSolar designs, owns, and operates a solar station for the client’s facility that contributes renewable energy to their consumption, and bills clients monthly throughout the term of the contract at a significantly lower tariff than traditional electricity bills with no investment required from the client’s side,” explains El Awa.
“Technically, nothing changes for the client through a PPA except that they now have a solar energy station on their roof or land, and they’re now paying much cheaper electricity bills!”
In 2020, KarmSolar organised the KarmSolar Awards for Renewable Energy Innovations to promote solar energy among youth and introduce them to the industry.
“We are excited to host it again soon,” concludes El Awa, highlighting that the event was a huge success.
KarmSolar also includes Karm Architecture Lab (KAL), focused on energy-efficient and human-centric architecture and design. That, in addition to KarmWater, their latest division specialized in solar-powered water desalination solutions. Starting with a solar-powered water desalination project in Marsa Alam, KarmWater designs, builds, and operates solar-powered desalination stations, offering accessible fresh water to clients through Water Purchase Agreements (WPAs).
KarmSolar was recently featured among some of the most sustainable companies in the region. To learn more about them and follow their updates, click here.
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