The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has recorded a production surplus for more than 11 months, and the reserve electricity capacities reached 4,000MW at times.
The ministry will achieve an even bigger surplus in production after adding all Siemens power plants in Beni Suef, Borollos, and the New Administrative Capital to the grid. Reserves are estimated to go up to 15,000MW by May 2018.
Daily News Egypt collected opinions of representatives and experts of the electricity and renewable energy sector about how Egypt will take advantage of the electricity production surplus and diversify energy production resources to achieve sustainability.
Maher Aziz, an energy and environment consultant and a member of the World Energy Council, said that an electricity production surplus is present in just about all countries of the world and constitutes the so-called “spinning reserve”.
He explained that Germany, France, and the US all have a 15% surplus in their electricity grids to achieve balance and continuity.
He added that the Ministry of Electricity has developed a plan until 2035, with the participation of Harvard University, and utilises advanced programmes to identify the needs of the sector, the used technologies, and the anticipated expansions in the electricity grid.
He stressed that the production capacity surplus and reserve capacities in the grid could soon reverse again if the state does not continue to add new capacities or diversify resources of energy production.
Hafez Salmawy, former chairperson of the Electrical Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, said that the ministry succeeded in converting the deficit into a surplus and that it will exploit the additional capacities by exporting energy to neighbouring Arab countries and expanding electricity interconnection lines.
He stated that the existence of a reserve in the electricity grid will vary between 15% and 20%, leading to some relief, while the ministry is seeking to strengthen the transmission and distribution grids to accommodate all electrical capacities.
The former chairperson of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), Mohamed Salah El-Sobky, said that the reserve of the electricity capacities will reflect positively on the investment climate in Egypt, especially since any investor or factory will require electricity.
El-Sobky noted that the energy sector developed short, medium, and long-term plans and also updated the sector’s strategy until 2035. In October 2016, the Supreme Energy Council approved the sector’s strategy until 2035, which included the best scenarios to achieve a balance, including the NREA’s participation of 30% to 40% of total energy until 2035.
Farook Al Hakim, head of the electrical engineering division at the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate, said that he will invite Mohamed Shaker, the Minister of Electricity, to discuss how to take advantage of the electricity production surplus and the economic feasibility of the surplus.