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Page added on February 25, 2018

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Egypt builds world’s largest solar park

Alternative Energy

Egypt has the natural potential to become one of the world’s strongest energy players as it contains the three main natural elements to develop an abundance of energy: sunlight, wind and hydro-energy.

Despite that, Egypt has been failing to provide a stable source of electricity to its ever-growing population. The country imports oil despite having the largest oil refinery in Africa, according to an American Security Project background report from 2015.However, a recently announced project promises to provide the needed amount of clean, renewable solar energy to transform Egypt into a clean energy producer. The Benben SolarPark near the southern city of Aswan promises to transform Egypt into a major solar energy player in the world.

The ambitious project, set to be the largest solar park in the world, aspires to provide somewhere between 1.6-2GW of solar power by mid-2019. Egyptian officials believe the project will produce 20 percent of Egypt’s power through renewable energy by 2020, which will serve 350,000 Egyptians and provide eco-friendly and cost-efficient power.

The Benben complex aims to include 32 solar plants on a 37.2 square kilometer area and will churn out 1650 megawatts of electricity, according to the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“The potential is endless,” Lamya Youssef, the head of private sector power at the state-run Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, told the IFC website. “Because of the enormous increase in [Egypt’s] population, we need large investments in infrastructure, which the government cannot afford on its own. That’s why we need private sector investments,” she went on.

“Egypt’s reforms in its energy sector opened the door to private sector investments,” said Philippe Le Houérou, the CEO of IFC in a press release. “For the Benban Solar Park project, those reforms and our innovative financial tools have helped attract a number of investors and financiers into the country for the first time. This will create jobs for many Egyptians and provide clean and reliable energy for people across the country.”

Depending mainly on investments, the total cost of the project is expected to range between US$3.5 billion and US$4 billion, according to a report by the NREA. The area will host 41 separate but contiguous spots in which each investor will create their individual project. These spots will be connected through a high-voltage network through four new substantiations. These substations will, in turn, be connected to an existing 220 kW line, which passes nearby the Benban site at a distance of approximately 12 km.

At a later stage, EETC may also construct an additional connection to the neighboring 500 kW line. EETC will construct the high voltage connections while NREA has prepared roads, according to Sibel Nicholson, an experienced finance and engineering journalist.

Before construction begins, all projects will sign a long-term, 25-years, usufruct agreement with the NREA. Upon completion,

As for financing, the Multilateral Investment and Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an organization within the World Bank Group, is pitching US$210 million as political risk insurance for private investors to encourage them to put their money in the project, especially with Egypt’s potential political instability.

The IFC and a consortium of nine international banks will finance thirteen out of a total of nineteen solar plants. The nine banks are Africa Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Arab Bank of Bahrain, CDC of the United Kingdom, Europe Arab Bank, Finance in Motion, FinnFund, ICBC and OeEB of Austria, according to Forbes Middle East.

Egypt has been making an effort to develop its clean energy production capacity in recent years. A side from a host of announcements from officials, Bloomberg’s Climatescope 2017 annual report said that Egypt’s ranking jumped 23 places, becoming number 19 out of 71 countries assessed for the progress they have made towards clean energy. This made Egypt the second fastest country to progress in the clean energy sector since last year.

In October 2017, the IFC said it had completed a US$653 million debt package to finance the building of 13 solar power plants in Egypt, expected to generate 590 megawatts. A month later, EBRD said that it is financing 16 new solar power plants with a capacity of 750 megawatts, making it the single largest investor in renewable energy in the country.


27 Comments on "Egypt builds world’s largest solar park"

  1. Davy on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 1:02 pm 

    “Benban Solar Park Benban Solar Park is a 1,650 MW photovoltaic power station under construction located in Benban in the western desert, approximately 650 km south of Cairo and 40 km northwest of Aswan. Site area: 14.36 mi² Construction cost: 4 billion USD”

    I am curious why they did not use solar thermal?

  2. Cloggie on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 2:06 pm 

    Bob’s links are irrelevant, they are about flat plate collectors, where the Egyptians are after electricity, that can’t be generated with collectors. The only alternatives for them are panels or concentrated solar power (CSP).

    Currently Spain is the #1 in CSP.

  3. rockman on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 2:28 pm 

    “The country imports oil despite having the largest oil refinery in Africa…” They seem to imply there’s something wrong with that stat. The US imports about 1.6 BILLION BBLS of oil per year that are refined and the products exported. Egypt is just trying to capture more of the value chain. In fact Egypt is trying to cut deals with the Saudis to refine more of its oil then just shipping it across Egypt to other countries.

    Similarly the US has the largest refining capacity of any country and yet is the largest oil importer in the world. And something else that few folks realize: the largest value of Greek imports is oil. And guess what Greeks highest value export is: refinery products. Not a bad business plan IMHO.

  4. bobinget on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 3:18 pm 

    Eastern Canada does a great turn-around refinery
    bidness as well. Tankers needn’t return empty.

    One wonders how much political pressure applied by Eastern Canadian, Quebec refiners getting “Canada East” pipeline stopped?

    If “Trans/Mountain” is also blocked, Canada will
    resort to risky choo-choo trains, doubling chance

    Canada is ‘enjoying’ a great population boom at present. Refugees, Dreamers, US ‘never Trumper’s’, Venezulan oil sands workers.
    Domestic consumption increases bound to demand a revival of “Canada/East”.

  5. Anonymous on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 6:03 pm 

    “Similarly the US…is the largest oil importer in the world.”

    Agree with your point conceptually, but China now imports more oil (both net and gross).

  6. Boat on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 7:38 pm 

    Renewables are cheaper than FF’s. Even Middle East countries are starting to figure it out.

  7. MASTERMIND on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 9:29 pm 

    UC Davis Peer Reviewed Study: It Will Take 131 Years to Replace Oil with Alternatives (Malyshkina, 2010)

    University of Chicago Peer Reviewed Study: predicts world economy unlikely to stop relying on fossil fuels (Covert, 2016)

    Solar and Wind produced less than one percent of total world energy in 2016 – IEA WEO 2017

    Fossil Fuel Share of Global Energy since 1990 – BP 2017

    Renewable energy ‘simply won’t work’: Top Google engineers

    Powering US using 100 percent renewable energy is a total fantasy

    IEA Sees No Peak Oil Demand ‘Any Time Soon’

    I rest my case you stupid fuckers who believe in renewable energy

  8. jawagord on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 9:38 pm 

    Renewable energy is not cheaper for me and unlikely to be cheaper for anyone other than RV owners.

    According to my power bill in the last year we used 12,500 kWh of power. With all in costs I pay about 10 cents per kWh = $1250 per year. To generate the power I use I would need a 10 kW grid connected system and the uninstalled panels/system would cost about $16,000 with rebates. The fixed charges on my power bill are about $50 per month so in theory I could save $650 per year in power costs (practical experience of my B-I-L is half that). So without putting a cost to money or including installation it would take $16,000/$650 = 24 YEARS, only my brother-in-law finds that kind of math attractive.

    “Depending on how much energy a homeowner sends back to the grid, they will be credited in accordance with micro-generation regulation.

    However, a homeowner will still have to pay fixed fees like the distribution charge, transmission charge, local access fee, delivery charge and balancing pool allocation on your bill.”

  9. Boat on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 11:31 pm 

    Let’s put it this way. A decade ago Texas wind was around 2 percent of electricity consumption. Ten years later renewables are up to 18 percent. You remember that big recession? That didn’t slow Texas wind which still has some of cheapest electricity rates in the US.

  10. MASTERMIND on Sun, 25th Feb 2018 11:40 pm 

    hey look its clogg

  11. Cloggie on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 12:38 am 

    Let’s put it this way. A decade ago Texas wind was around 2 percent of electricity consumption. Ten years later renewables are up to 18 percent. You remember that big recession? That didn’t slow Texas wind which still has some of cheapest electricity rates in the US.

    Indeed boat. Recessions are bad news for ordinary civilians who need to make ends meet, but on a grander scale recessions are pretty insignificant. America was in a severe recession throughout the entire thirties, but five years later was on top of the world.

    Recessions are so overrated.

  12. Davy on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 5:48 am 

    On a grander scale today we have a very delicate economic situation globally with growth, debt, and social liabilities. All of these metrics are in a decline compression. Strong growth is present but a significant amount of this is not productive investment or more accurately called malinvestment. Bubbles operate this way and the global economy is greatly influenced by bubbles. Thresholds of change are being flirted with on many levels.

    We have become habituated to a normal of extend and pretend but this is a linear deception. It is like the process of phase change with long thermal change followed by rapid change. For humans the deception is temporal. If something does not happen within a short period we become conditioned to a normality. The fact that we are pushing the envelope of change but still normal does not mean that sudden change will not occur. The longer we push systematic thresholds the greater the chance of sudden extreme change. This does not mean sudden change will happen either. It is also the case the effects of slow prolonged change can be similar to rapid change. In fact slow prolonged change may prevent mitigation because of the lack of warning signs. Degree and duration are systematically control functions of survivability. They can very but there is still thresholds that become breakpoints.

  13. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 8:07 am 


    Stop posting all of your broken links! lol shouldn’t you be feeding your goats and chickens?

  14. Davy on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 8:34 am 

    M n m’s, I must have bitch slapped you good the other day. Lol. Say something why don’t you and not just your regurgitate that shows how mentally and intellectually immature you are. What did you say the other day….you are working on your PHD? What a crock of shit.

  15. kanon on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 8:35 am 

    Davy: “We have become habituated to a normal of extend and pretend but this is a linear deception. It is like the process of phase change with long thermal change followed by rapid change.”

    Yes. Unfortunately, the global warming deniers will realize their mistakes about 20 years too late.

  16. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 9:35 am 


    Bitch slap me? LOL you are to scared to even open a link to a science paper..Hey if you want to spam this blog with your mania and word salads go right ahead. Nobody is listening though. Nobody is commenting on what you say. Nobody cares what a stupid hick farmer thinks….

  17. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 9:37 am 

    The End of the Oil Age is Imminent!

    Recently, the HSBC oil report stated that 80% of conventional oil fields were declining at a rate of 5-7% per year. This means that there will be an oil shortage of ~30 million barrels per day by 2030 and ~40 million barrels per day by 2040.

    What is mentioned far less often is that annual oil discoveries have lagged annual production since the 1980s.

    Now, this problem has nothing to do with the recent decline in the oil price, which started in 2014. This has been an on-going problem for the past 30 years. Now, the IEA is predicting oil shortages by ~2020 due to declining exploration.

    Here, the IEA blames this problem on the low oil price. But, this problem started in the 1980s. The problem is geological: we are running out of conventional cheap oil. Shale and tar sands are not the answer, either. Those resources are far too expensive, compared to conventional oil, because the global economy is based on cheap conventional oil. Expensive oil is not a replacement for cheap oil.

    Based upon the HSBC report and the IEA, the End of Oil Age will start around ~2020: there will be a dramatic economic depression due to exhaustion of cheap oil. This will cause a global economic collapse.

  18. Davy on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 9:55 am 

    MnM, word salads may be annoying to some but nowhere near as bad as repetitive intellectually immature referencing of redundant and dated articles in a manic and pressured way. These reference are empty links without supporting points that show you don’t even know what you are talking about. Grow up little bitch. Show us you have hair on your nuts. All I am seeing is a juvenile learning to JO for the first time.

  19. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 10:29 am 


    Your screams of denial sound like the squealing of a pig beginning delivered to the butchers shop. The volume of their protestations being directly proportional to the proximity of their inevitable fate….

  20. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 10:31 am 

    Existing oil reserves are scheduled to begin a catastrophic crash within 1 to 3 years. When it hits the economic and social damage will be catastrophic. The end of Western Civilization, from China to Europe, to the US, will not occur when oil runs out. The economic and social chaos will occur when supplies are merely reduced sufficiently….

  21. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 10:32 am 

    Dear Reader,

    Here are five peer reviewed scientific studies authored by top experts that prove beyond any reasonable doubt that global civilization will collapse within the next decade.

    Simple really….when the World Economy Collapses everything shuts down…the end… We’re talking about grids down all over the world and 7.5B people dropping like f*** flies in short order. The collapse will be absolutely horrible..There is no collapse or horror movie ever produced that has even come close to imagining what the collapse of BAU might look like. I’m talking about every corporation and every social program going bankrupt at once. I’m talking about people eating people. I’m talking about the Worst Catastrophe to ever happen in the history of mankind. Nothing has ever, or will ever come close….

    The End of the Human Race will be that it will Eventually Die of Civilization
    –Ralph W Emerson

  22. Antius on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 12:24 pm 

    Electricity in Egypt is overwhelmingly dependent on natural gas, which appears to have passed its Hubert peak.

    A solar PV plant is an affordable way of stretching Egypt’s natural gas supplies for another few decades. The NG plant sits there as a back up plant. Electricity demand is generally greater in the day, so the Egyptians might cut natural gas use per kWh by up to half using solar PV plants rated for peak demand, before needing to consider storage or demand management options.

    The operating and capital cost of the NG plant must still be paid, but the solar plant reduces the cost of fuel. The additional cost is probably worth paying because the Egyptians don’t have many alternatives to natural gas. Coal is not something they have a lot of domestically. For nuclear power plants they would need to go cap in hand to the French, Russians or Chinese.

  23. rockman on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 2:03 pm 

    A – Thanks…I haven’t been keeping up with the latest stats. China oil imports: $116 billion; US imports $108 billion.

  24. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 3:41 pm 

    Existing oil reserves are scheduled to begin a catastrophic crash within 1 to 3 years. When it hits the economic and social damage will be catastrophic. The end of Western Civilization, from China to Europe, to the US, will not occur when oil runs out. The economic and social chaos will occur when supplies are merely reduced sufficiently….

  25. MASTERMIND on Mon, 26th Feb 2018 3:42 pm 

    As M. King Hubbert (1956) shows, peak oil is about discovering less oil, and eventually producing less oil due to lack of discovery.

    IEA Chief warns of world oil shortages by 2020 as discoveries fall to record lows

    Saudi Aramco CEO sees oil shortage coming as investments, oil discoveries drop

    Peak Oil Vindicated by the IEA and Saudi Arabia

  26. Kenz300 on Tue, 27th Feb 2018 1:26 pm 

    Why invest in more potentially stranded assets.
    Oil companies are beginning to realize that investing in future resources that may not be needed is a bad investment.
    How many coal mines went bankrupt in the past few years with plenty of available coal to sell? More coal bankruptcies to come.

    Wind and solar are a safer, cleaner and cheaper way to generate electricity and electric vehicles are safer, cleaner and have no emissions.

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