The World Bank Group (WBG) gave the best project award for Benban Solar Park in Aswan, according to a Wednesday’s statement by the ministry of investment and international cooperation, adding that it is the first time for Egypt to win such an award.
The Interim President of the WBG, Kristalina Georgieva, made a special celebration at the WBG’s headquarters in Washington DC, where she praised the Egyptian project and its rates of implementation, the statement noted.
The Minister of Investment, Sahar Nasr, said the award reaffirms the strong relationship between Egypt and the WBG which includes supporting the country’s reform programme and the governmental plans for promoting the private sector role in achieving the inclusive sustainable development.
The WBG offered Egypt’s energy sector $1.1bn, in addition to $653m from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the Benban project.
Additionally, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has led the way in providing finance to roll out innovative bifacial panels for new solar plants, delivering a product that is more efficient and achieves greater productivity in the generation of solar power, a statement of the bank said on Tuesday.
The bank worked with the Norwegian developer Scatec Solar on using bifacial technology for its investment in the Benban Solar Park in Upper Egypt, where it financed 16 plants in what became the largest solar installation on the African continent, the bank added.
Scatec proposed the use of bifacial panels for Benban on the basis that the path-breaking new product delivered better value in terms of improved yield and greater durability. By using bifacial technology, total generation increases because power can be produced from both sides of the solar panel.
“It is a striking simple innovation that just involves using both sides of the solar panels, and it is particularly suited for use in the desert where the sun rays are reflected back from the sand,” said Nandita Parshad, the EBRD’s managing director for sustainable infrastructure.
“The use of bifacial panels at the Benban plants would be the first large-scale installation of such panels,” she added.
The market share of bifacial modules is expected to grow rapidly during the next few years from less than 3% currently to 10% by 2020, and 40% by 2025, driven by falling prices and the availability of advanced infrastructure.