NREA purchases 400MW of solar capacity for $662m

Egypt has agreed to buy about 400 megawatts of solar capacity, a sign that developers are slowly moving forward with clean-energy projects after a currency crisis in the country this year slowed the industry.

The power-purchase contracts are worth about 600 million euros (S$923.5 million), according to Mohamed Salah El Sobki, executive chairman of Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority.

Out of the 100 companies that qualified for Egypt’s solar program in January, becoming eligible for the system of feed-in tariffs, only eight signed purchase agreements.

Egypt is still suffering aftershocks from a government decision in March to devalue the Egyptian pound. The economy has subsequently endured a shortage of hard currency that officials are seeking to alleviate with a US$12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. While the solar contracts show local developers can line up financing, they also demonstrate that global green energy companies remain wary of investing.

“The fact that it’s smaller local companies moving forward now rather than international developers shows that it’s still a bit hot,” said Dario Traum, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Source: Business Times