January 29, 2019 Read More →

Algeria looks to expand solar generation capacity

Reuters:

Algeria plans to issue several tenders for renewable energy projects this year as it seeks to meet growing demand for electricity and save gas for export, an official said on Monday.

The OPEC oil producing member hopes to build solar plants to produce 22,000 megawatts (MW), or 27 percent of its electricity needs, by 2030, up from about 350 MW now.

Algeria will soon invite bids from national and foreign firms to set up a solar plant with a capacity of 150 MW, a senior official at the energy ministry said. “We are (also) planning tenders to produce 2,000 megawatts before the end of 2020,” he added, without giving more details.

Turning to solar power is part of a drive to guarantee cheap retail energy prices. The authorities are keen to avoid social unrest, and face sporadic protests in some areas over a lack of electricity and gas supplies.

Algeria is currently using gas to generate 98 percent of its power output of 19,000 MW.

Increasing or maintaining the level of gas and oil exports is a top priority for the country as the two energy products make up 60 percent of the budget and 94 percent of total sales abroad.

More: Algeria plans solar energy tenders to tackle rising electricity needs

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