Algeria?s wind energy and solar power targets require outside help

In 2011 the Algerian ministry of energy and mines launched an energy efficiency and renewable energy programme that will cost US$120 billion. The target is to install additional power generating capacity across the country from renewables amounting to 22,000 MW between 2012 and 2030.

Of this, 12,000 MW will be intended to meet the domestic electricity demand and 10,000 MW destined for export, possibly as part of the Desertec initiative. However, the country will rely on partners and know-how from abroad to achieve such targets.

Solar energy forms the foundation for this energy program, with Algeria having a concentrating solar thermal power potential of 169.440 TWh a year. According to the Algerian government, one could cover the energy demand of Western Europe 60 times using the solar energy potential from the Sahara. Some 86% the area of Algeria comprises Sahara desert.

In the course of the program about 60 solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power plants, wind farms as well as hybrid power plants have been targeted for installation by 2020. Between 2012 and 2030, of the 12,000 MW intended to meet domestic electricity demand, 2,000 MW is to be sourced from wind power, 2,800 MW from photovoltaics and 7,200 MW from other solar energy forms like concentrated solar thermal power.