Egyptian-German Joint Committee on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection
Title: Egyptian-German Joint Committee on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (MoRE); New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA)
Overall term: 2015 to 2019
Until a few years ago, Egypt’s long-term energy supply seemed secure. However, due to rapidly growing demand and the inefficient use of its dwindling resources, Egypt has changed from being a net exporter of energy to a net importer. Rising by as much as 10 per cent per year, the country’s energy consumption represents a serious burden for the national budget as energy is still heavily subsidised.
The state is currently introducing socially sustainable reforms to the subsidy policy for energy. The new energy prices take into account the low income levels among a large proportion of the population as well as the competitiveness of industry. Since 2014, in three phases, electricity prices have already risen significantly.
Egypt has enormous resources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar energy, which could reduce its current dependency on fossil fuels. Plans have been put in place to increase the share of renewable energies in the electricity supply from the current nine per cent to 20 per cent by 2022. In May 2012, the government adopted a strategic energy efficiency road map. In 2016, several information campaigns on the topic of energy saving were held around the country. More such campaigns are now being planned. Moreover, state-owned power distribution companies are now obliged to increase their energy efficiency. They must, for instance, submit annual efficiency plans, the implementation of which is then binding.
Conditions have become more conducive for climate-friendly investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency. Longer term strategies for renewable energies and energy efficiency have been introduced.
The Egyptian-German Committee provides a platform for national actors to conduct a cross-sector policy dialogue on renewable energies, energy efficiency and climate change. It cooperates with a range of stakeholders, including eight Egyptian ministries as well as the Ministerial Council on Energy and the Federation of Egyptian Industries. The project team supports its partner institutions with comprehensive policy advice, holistic capacity development measures, education initiatives and technology transfers. The areas of activity include improving the statutory and regulatory framework for the promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency, and the provision of training and organisational support for employees of important institutions in aspects of energy and climate protection. Through information campaigns, the partners are raising public awareness for the efficient use of electricity.
The country’s regulatory authority, EgyptERA, is currently undergoing extensive restructuring. In recent years, the project team has supported this process closely, organising numerous training measures for the governmental authority on regulatory topics as well as management practices and public relations.
A new form of power purchasing contract, which was developed jointly with EgyptERA, has established a more conducive environment for the involvement of private investors. In light of the on-going liberalisation of the electricity market, with the support of the Committee EgyptERA has developed a regulatory contract for grid access for future private power plant operators. This is already being applied in several pilot projects.
Together with the Ministry of Energy, EgyptERA is also responsible for developing information campaigns promoting the responsible approach to energy. The project has introduced international and national knowledge in order to support the coordination and implementation of these campaigns.
With the assistance of the project, Egypt’s nine state distribution companies have opened new offices which are now responsible for the decentralised distribution of renewable energy and promotion of energy efficiency. This has encouraged the construction of countless roof-top photovoltaic systems, which have brought the country closer to meeting the national target for the expansion of renewable energies. The new offices are also responsible for running regular courses, for instance to train trainers in the field of industrial energy auditing.
Based on the model of the Arabic energy efficiency guidelines, the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has adopted a national action plan that provides for an increase of approximately 10 per cent in energy efficiency in the electricity sector.
The project is supporting the Renewable Energy Authority with the modernisation of its test laboratories for photovoltaics and solar-thermal facilities.