Egyptian-German Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Project description

Title: Egyptian-German Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (JCEE)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Egypt
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (MoRE); New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

Up until a few years ago, Egypt’s long-term energy supply still seemed secure. However, due to fast-growing demand and the inefficient use of its dwindling resources, the country is now facing considerable challenges. As a result of these developments, Egypt is gradually transforming from a net exporter of energy into a net importer. On the one hand, the increase in energy consumption, which is growing at a rate of up to 10 per cent per annum, is an indicator of the country's economic growth; on the other, this is placing significant strain on the state budget due to the high energy subsidies. A socially sustainable reform of the subsidy policy for energy is currently being drafted.

Egypt has the potential to tap enormous resources of wind and solar energy that would reduce its current dependency on fossil fuels. There are therefore plans to increase the share of renewable energies in its electricity supply from the current nine per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.

In May 2012, the government also adopted a strategic energy efficiency road map and energy prices have already been adapted accordingly. The new energy price policy takes into account the low income of a large proportion of the population as well as the competitiveness of industry, and aims not to jeopardise their supply. In addition, jobs and income are to be created in the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

The Egyptian partner institutions are able to develop and implement long-term strategies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The programme provides a platform for cross-sector policy dialogue on renewable energy and energy efficiency involving national agents. It addresses the four priority areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, reform policies in the electricity sector and climate change. The Egyptian-German Committee cooperates with a range of interest groups, including eight Egyptian ministries, the Ministerial Council for Energy Issues and the Association of Egyptian Industry.

The programme strengthens its partner institutions by providing comprehensive policy advice and holistic capacity development measures, and through educational initiatives and technology transfer. It is currently involved in more than fifteen initiatives. The aims of these include improving the statutory and regulatory framework for promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, carrying out capacity development for key institutions, preparing and implementing national dissemination programmes (for example, for solar hot water collectors and photovoltaic systems) and running educational campaigns.

The level of expertise in the regulatory authority, EgyptERA, has improved. EgyptERA has devised a feed-in tariff system for small wind farms that is tailored to the Egyptian market. It has also generated income through the provision of advisory services, by organising a training course for the member states of the Regional Centre for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) on the design of feed-in tariffs.

A Power Purchase Agreement developed jointly with EgyptERA has done much to establish favourable conditions in which to encourage the commitment of private investors. In view of the upcoming liberalisation of the electricity market, EgyptERA has, with the support of the programme, developed a regulatory contract for grid access for future private power plant operators. This is now being used in three pilot projects.

The regulatory authority is planning to create a national market for electricity generated from renewable sources. The strategy for establishing the trade based on certified guarantees of origin is now being put into effect.

The regulatory authority and the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (MoRE) are expanding their cooperation with civil society. The Egyptian energy consumer movement, launched with support from the German Energy Consumer Association, has been recognised as a non-governmental organisation and is represented on the supervisory board of the regulatory authority. The MoRE wants to raise awareness among private households about energy efficiency. A national education campaign has been designed, which will be implemented in cooperation with the private sector.

The cabinet has adopted a concept for a politically viable institutional strategy for energy efficiency. This aims to establish a series of decentralised energy efficiency offices in energy-intensive sectors that will be responsible for achieving sector-specific energy efficiency indicators.

The energy efficiency office of the Ministerial Council for Energy Issues is responsible for drawing up energy efficiency policy and for coordinating energy efficiency measures across sectors. Following the model of the Arabic energy efficiency guidelines, the MoRE has adopted a national action plan that provides for an increase of approximately 10 per cent in energy efficiency in the electricity sector.

The programme is paving the way towards a sustainable energy supply. The promotion of energy efficiency and the wider use of renewable energies will lead to a reduction in energy subsidies. The transfer of relevant technologies, combined with the development of national programmes is promoting energy efficiency, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.


Nikolaus Supersberger