Algeria sets plans to achieve 40% renewable energy by 2030
It doesn't come as a surprise after the Algerian energy minister went on the record stating that an initiative such as DESERTEC will not be yet "another form of economical colonization", meaning not a free for all where Europeans harvest energy in the region for dirt cheap.
Like I wrote in this blog, Morocco and other countries in MENA are seeing their energy profile change rapidly, so most of the energy produced here will be consumed locally, DESERTEC only makes sense after we cover our own needs, and that relegates it to quite a distant future.
About the Algerian figures, well the 60 Billion USD figure is staggering compared to Morocco's 9 Billion Euros investment. Its to be followed closely, with such an amount of cash they could lead the race in no time. But Morocco has a knack for doing more with less and if we compare the targets, ours is 42% by 2020 and theirs is 40% by 2030, still the respective amounts of energy produced is key. Does Algeria include its hydrocarbures production in this figure, will it produce 40% of its total energy potential, including oil and gas from renewables ? If so then hats off. To be followed.
Perhaps because it has noted what’s happened in neighboring Morocco and Egypt, following their progressive renewable energy plans, now Algeria has announced an investment of more than $20 billion in renewable electricity over the next 20 years. The move would bring all three MENA nations to the forefront of climate actions worldwide.
Egypt now leads all the MENA nations in attractiveness for renewable energy investment through the EU’s Clean Development Mechanism and Morocco – which already has a grid linked up to Europe – has become a key Desertec investment point since announcing its plans to provide 42% of its own electricity from solar, which is by far the most ambitious plan in the world. What’s more, as a kingdom, there is no opposition party to sabotage renewable energy as the Republican party does in the US.
Algeria’s electric utility, Sonelgaz has a very fast-growing customer base of 6.2 million. It grew 3.9% from 2007 to 2008. Currently, most of Algeria’s electricity is produced through natural gas, although earlier this year the country launched a hybrid plant that boosts gas-fired production with solar panels.
Nordine Bouterfa, head of the Sonelgaz group in Algeria, told a press conference: “The total sum of electricity production development between 2011 and 2021 is nearly $35.4bn, $20bn of which will be dedicated to renewable energy. By 2030, some 40 per cent of electricity production for national consumption will come from renewable energy.”
In this plan, Algeria will be following in Morocco’s ambitious solar footsteps.
It is very encouraging to see these emerging nations embrace clean energy. Algeria will be split almost 50/50 between traditional and renewable energy investment. These are the nations where – if they followed the fossil energy route – the next 50 years of increased carbon emissions would be greatest.
So it is the energy choices of these nations that will make or break civilization, since it is in the world’s emerging economies that electricity growth is fastest.