Genesis Morocco: Algeria details renewable energy strategy

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Saturday, February 12, 2011    <<Home

Algeria details renewable energy strategy

Personal Notes : Algeria is definitely back in the game, the question remains, will Morocco beat it to similar goals. I take notice that they are De facto technological leaders with the solar panel production plant they plan to build. We need to act fast, and do so in concerto with the economic fabric of the country. A national production plant for solar cells needs to be our top priority, and it falls well in line with our project to develop the renewable energy sector.

To do so in a concerted fashion, we need a master plan, Genesis Morocco has no such ambition, it is a documented vision for the future of Morocco but we do have experience with such plans, PAGER, PERG, Halieutis, we need something on that scale and we need it fast.

Renewable energy will start contributing to our GDP as soon as the installations are complete, that is the beauty of it, it is producing from day one, especially so for the SUN Catcher Units as they are immediately plugged to the collection grid in the shape of clusters. 

Reducing the costs of energy domestically is key for future energy export, Algerians relying on gas have cheap energy costs and they can use petrodollars to fund their renewables program. The 1% levy on hydrocarbons is a very smart move, we could probably allocate some percentage on say, our phosphates exports.

It is a pity that the current state of affairs of UMA doesnt allow for regional collaboration on the renewables field, or does it ? It should be a top priority.

A new national energy strategy aims to create 100,000 green jobs in Algeria over 20 years.

By Mohand Ouali for Magharebia in Algiers

Algeria needs to invest up to 120 billion dollars in renewable energy between now and 2030 to meet the goals of a new energy policy adopted by the council of ministers on Friday (February 4th), experts said.
"This is certainly an ambitious programme, but it's achievable and within Algeria's reach," said Belhamel Mayouf, Director of the National Centre for the Development of Renewable Energy (CDER).

The investment needs to come from both the public and private sector, in addition to contributions by foreign partners, energy consultant Khaled Boukhlifa explained at an El Moudjahid forum on Sunday (February 6th).

This new energy policy will be supported by the development of a local subcontracting industry, which is expected to create around 100,000 jobs.

State owned energy giant Sonelgaz will take charge of completing several renewable energy projects, the CDER director said. Sonelgaz is already running a project to develop a hybrid (gas-solar) power station at Hassi R'mel with a 150 MW capacity and a separate 10 MW wind farm at Adrar.

The new national renewable energy programme, backed up by energy saving policies, will start by working to develop knowledge in the sector between 2011 and 2013. Authorities also plan to use this time to promote co-operation with foreign partners, particularly industrial groups specialising in the production of equipment and technology needed for renewable energy.

Over these three years, the state will hand out grants worth 2 billion dinars for studies to be carried out, on top of 12 billion dinars worth of subsidies for electricity generated from renewable sources. Furthermore, approximately 50 billion dinars of preferential loans will be released to enable the building of experimental units. Sixty-five projects were identified as part of this development.

In addition to the creation of a directorate for new energy, the council of ministers also allocated 1% of the tax raised from hydrocarbons to the development of these new energies.

Investments are planned to take off between 2015 and 2030, with electricity production rising to 22,000 MW, double the current generating capacity. Most of this will come from natural gas, saving around 600 thousand million cubic metres of gas over 25 years. Half of the saved gas will be stored with the rest exported, earning the country an additional 200 billion dollars over the period.

One of the projects already under way is the construction of a silicon production plant, scheduled to go online in early 2013 at a cost of between 200 and 250 million euros, according to CDER director Mayouf.

Work to build a factory for the production of solar panels will begin later this year, Rouiba Eclairage Managing Director Abdelaziz Boumehra said. The plant will cost around 100 million dollars and will have a production capacity of between 50 and 120 MW.

The German group, Centrotherm, won the contract to build the plant on Monday (February 7th) in Algiers. The cost of this plant - the first of its kind in Africa - totals 29.8 billion dinars and is "highly competitive and almost on a par with what is being done in China", according to Sonelgaz CEO Noureddine Boutarfa.

© 2011