Algeria identifies 21 areas for wind energy

The CEO of Algeria’s Electricity and Renewable Energy Company (SKTM), Chahar Boulakhras, has announced this Tuesday (23rd) in the Algerian city of Oran that 21 areas across the country have been identified as having strong potential for wind power developments. SKTM is an arm of the state-owned group Sonelgaz.

According to him, development of this “promising activity” is part of an Algerian government program intended to generate 40% of the country’s power from clean energies by 2030. Boulakhras gave an interview to Algérie Presse Service (APS) during the seminar Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency, held at the Oran Convention Centre.

The areas were identified with assistance from the Algerian Space Agency (Asal) and the country’s National Meteorological Department (ONM). “We are conducting further identification work prior to launching the program, which requires environment and ecosystems studies, in addition to the strategic choices we must make before the launch,” the executive said. According to him, the areas identified contain a hundred sites that could potentially house wind farms.

Wind power will account for 20% of Algeria’s clean, renewable energy production by 2024, or 600 megawatts, as per Sonelgaz forecasts, Boulakhras said.

The studies leading to the launch of the wind power program, currently in its pilot phase, also consider the development of a national industry and services chain to underpin the industry’s development, the executive remarked.

The SKTM CEO estimates that the national renewable energy program should create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030, and that by late 2015 Algerian clean energy production will have reached 400 megawatts.

He added that 23 photovoltaic stations, or solar parks, are being built across the country, and inauguration is due by 2017.