Tuesday, 06 June 2023

The Benban Solar Park in Egypt

Egypt's energy sector has been undergoing a transformation in recent years, with a greater focus on renewable energy sources.

The Benban Solar Park is one of the largest solar energy projects in the world and is located in the Aswan Governorate of Egypt. The project is expected to have a significant impact on the economy of Egypt, particularly in the areas of energy independence, job creation, and attracting foreign investment.

The Benban Solar Park, which covers an area of over 37 square kilometers, was initiated in 2015 and consists of 32 individual solar power plants. It has a total installed capacity of 1.8 GW, which is equivalent to powering over 1 million homes. The project has been financed by a mix of private and public investors, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The total investment for the project is estimated to be around $4 billion.

One of the most significant impacts of the Benban Solar Park is its contribution to Egypt's energy independence. Prior to the development of the solar park, Egypt was heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. The solar park is expected to generate around 4% of Egypt's total electricity output, which will help reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels and increase its energy security. The project is also expected to reduce the country's carbon footprint, with an estimated annual reduction of 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Another significant impact of the Benban Solar Park is the job creation it has brought to the local economy. The project has created more than 10,000 direct jobs and is estimated to have created an additional 40,000 indirect jobs in the construction and support industries. This has provided a significant boost to the local economy, particularly in the Aswan Governorate, which is one of the poorest regions in Egypt. The project has also provided training opportunities for local workers, helping to develop skills that will be valuable in future renewable energy projects in the region.

The Benban Solar Park has also had a positive impact on foreign investment in Egypt. The project has attracted significant investment from international players, including Total, EDF Renewables, and Lightsource BP. This has helped to boost the country's reputation as a destination for renewable energy investment and has encouraged other international investors to explore opportunities in the country.

The success of the Benban Solar Park has also had a ripple effect on the development of other renewable energy projects in Egypt.

Sources: IFC, PV Mag, Reuters, African Review, PV Tech