The World Bank has offered Egypt a US$220 million loan to support a wind energy development project. The Clean Technology Fund has contributed US$150 million dollars in its first contribution to the Middle East and North Africa.
The wind farm aims to support Egypt’s energy strategy, which gives priority to large-scale electricity generation from renewable sources and aims to achieve national and regional objectives of supplying land fuel, environmental maintenance and creating job opportunities.
A recent World Bank report says that Egypt possesses some of the best resources in the world for wind energy, particularly in the Gulf of Suez area, where there is potential for generating at least 7,200 megawatts by 2022. The eastern and western Nile banks have potential to deliver another 3,000 megawatts.
The report also states that Egypt is planning to produce 20 percent of its compound energy (to obtain electricity) from renewable resources by 2020.
David Craig, the World Bank’s regional manager in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti affirmed the bank’s support for Egypt’s energy strategy as well as for constructing wind power and sun energy stations. He pointed out that the main objective of the wind turbines project is the promotion of infrastructure and work models to expand the use of wind energy in Egypt.
The wind farm will establish the first wind energy stations at 250 megawatt capacities around the Gulf of Suez and Gabal el-Zait. It will also connect the prospective wind farms with the national electricity grid.
"One of the advantages of this project is the reduction of gas diffusion that causes global warming through the development of clean energy resources," said Shandar Asicar Juvendar Agalo, the project team leader.
He added that Egyptian expertise, regarded as one of the best in the area, will be fit for application of many such projects in other Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The Executive Managers’ Council of the World Bank had also agreed on 8 June to grant Egypt a US$600 million loan for a natural gas power plant in North Giza.
The project is part of the Egyptian government’s investment plan in the energy sector to meet the growing demand for electricity, serve the needs of a constantly growing economy and support social development throughout the country.
Since the 1980s, a series of large-scale grid connected wind farm projects have been planned and implemented in Egypt. In 2009, 65 MW of wind power was added, bringing the total installed wind capacity to 430 MW at the end of 2009.