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Egypt enjoys an excellent wind regime, particularly in the Suez Gulf, where average wind speeds reach over 10 m/second.
The Egyptian wind energy market increased from just 5 MW in 2001 to 310 MW at the end of 2007, and 80 MW of new capacity were added in 2007 to the Zafarana wind farm. Over 3,000 MW are earmarked for wind power developments in the near future on the Gulf of Suez coast.
In April 2007, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Energy announced an ambitious plan to generate 20 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, including a 12 per cent contribution from wind energy, translating into 7,200 MW of grid-connected wind farms. This plan will provide investor security and stimulate private investment in wind energy.
Moreover, a new draft energy act has recently been submitted to the Egyptian Parliament to encourage renewable energy deployment and private sector involvement. In addition to guaranteeing third-party access, power generation from renewable energy would enjoy priority grid access under this law.
With the Zafarana project, Egypt has moved on from limited experimental projects to large-scale grid-connected wind farms. Overall, 305 MW has been installed in different stages: 63 MW in 2001, 77 MW in 2003/2004, 85 MW in July 2006 and 80 MW in December 2007. The electricity production from the Zafarana farm is over 1,000 GWh per year at an average capacity factor of 40.6 per cent. A further 240 MW extension of the wind farm is currently being put into place.
In addition to this, an area of 656 km2 has been earmarked to host a 3,000 MW wind farm at Gulf of El-Zayt on the Gulf of Suez coast. Studies are being conducted to assess the site potential to host large scale grid connected wind farms of 200 MW capacity in cooperation with Germany, 220 MW (in cooperation with Japan) and 400 MW as (a private-sector project).
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