Egypt is blessed with an abundant resource of sunlight. Today, with concerns over growing global carbon emissions, and especially over the past decade, the use of sunlight has increased. The good part – the country enjoys solar energy more than any part of the world, according to famous Egyptian scientist Dr. Farouk el-Baz.
The clear transition towards generating more of the country’s energy through solar power stations is taking place with the participation of both the public and private sectors. In this context, Maryam Omar, co-director of Cairo sustainability NGO Greenish, stated that when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, solar power was just one piece of the pie. She reiterated that much more needs to be done in other areas if one hoped to mitigate carbon emissions.
Dr. Farouk El-Baz stated that solar energy can cover Egypt’s electricity needs, and can also export electricity from solar energy to Europe. He added that Egypt had experts in solar energy, and solar energy must be fully used in Egypt. Further Dr. Farouk El-Baz underscored the negative impact of climate change on countries, earth, and other planets.
In this context, international sustainability mandates such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals program and the 2015 Paris Accords, were signed by Egypt. According to Mohamed Abdel Fattah, sales manager at The Solar Company, the mandates have been the main driving force behind the shift in attitude towards renewables in Egypt.
He stated that entrepreneurs in Egypt had faith in the government’s business sense. So, when they started building Benban [the solar park just outside the province of Aswan in Upper Egypt, one of the country’s sunniest areas] and investing billions into the solar sector, many began to see solar as an industry worth venturing into.
Today, Benban stands as the largest solar park in the world.