Creating links for investigating technical barriers for the uptake of renewable energy in Egypt
A British Council Funded Project on the Uptake of Sustainable Energy in Egypt in partnership with University of Plymouth, University College of Estate Management and British University in Egypt
Egypt has announced a plan to produce 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. However, there are challenges to meeting this target at the current progression stage. A previous study made by Cairo University [Project with EU, unpublished yet] addressing different barriers to the increased commercialisation of renewable energy (RE) projects in Egypt has identified the most critical challenges as being relevant to some societal, legislation, policymaking, economic, technological, research & education reasons. Individual work by the Egyptian partner has identified several threats to the projects' sustainability.
This project focuses on identifying challenges relevant to technical, research & educational aspects affecting renewable energy projects' sustainability and identifying academic-based solutions for overcoming these barriers. Though Egypt currently has abundant fossil fuel energy sources, renewable energy sources are essential to global energy transition and climate change mitigation. Moreover, renewable energy implemented projects are threatened by their sustainability due to climatic, operation and maintenance requirements. Identifying and removing barriers to renewables allow for a shift towards more localised energy and putting the power source closer to people.
Findings from this project will foster the private sector to expand in renewable energy projects in Egypt, encourage young researchers to work on technical related barriers standing against the uptake of renewable energy, present ideas for extending the life of implemented projects and embrace sustainable solutions for future projects. Opportunities identified from localising renewable energy will deliver climate-safe solutions while simultaneously supporting a wide range of socioeconomic advantages such as net job creation, improved health, and increased social inclusion.
How We Got Here
The British University in Egypt (BUE) has an established research centre for Renewable Energy, playing a pivotal role in the development of renewable energy research activities both at the BUE level and the national level. The project shall engage two Egyptian stakeholders who work on implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Egyptian market. This will allow for the engagement of the broader community through the distribution of the project information. The project will help in finding solutions for the limited spread of small-scale renewable energy projects in vulnerable and sub-serviced communities, which will enhance the life of these communities. Surely, this will not result in economic development and social welfare of the partner country within a time frame (3-15 years), but it will contribute to opening the door for mitigation strategies and risk management issues which hinder the dissemination of such projects.
More than 90% of Egyptian-generated electricity comes only from oil and natural gas. However, the major problem facing the energy sector is the dynamic growth of Egypt's population of about 1.3% per year, consequently increasing demand, which eventually hastens the rate of depletion of the country's significant resources. Scientific interactions established in this project, including training, technology transfer and research will pave the way for long-term interactions. The project will directly contribute to Egypt's economic development and social welfare by tackling key challenges of renewable energy from political, environmental and social pressures. Addressing the challenges will aid the sustainable development of accessible and avoidable renewable energy across regions in Egypt. Producing cheap energy from renewable sources will lead to economic benefits for common citizens and will reduce the price of energy supply. Efficient and sustainable use of RE systems will reduce solid waste also.
Renewable energy implemented projects are threatened by their sustainability as a result of climatic, operation and maintenance requirements. This project focuses on challenges relevant to technical, research and educational aspects affecting the sustainability of renewable energy. The applicants recognize that the immediate widespread use of renewable energy in Egypt will not take place with an abundance of fossil fuels at the current state. Therefore, the project focuses on initiating a future platform for building capacity among junior researchers and stakeholders to be prepared for answering or meeting existing and future challenges. Although great efforts have been made on identifying challenges, mitigation and solutions are not available. The applicants think that this is owed to putting all challenges in one basket, while systematic thinking would result in solutions for specific challenges.
Therefore this project simply focuses on challenges related to technical, research and education aspects. Despite the fact that Egyptian universities offer several RE programmes, the graduates are not well prepared to find solutions to challenges, yet they are capable of conducting conventional tasks. The project will develop a framework for collaboration among partners for developing working process plans that concentrate on the challenges. Post Graduate students will be integrated through the project stages and they will be exposed to challenges rather than conventional study.
This project aims to ensure inclusive access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy in Egypt. The objectives are:
To identify the challenges and opportunities for the growth of sustainable renewable energy projects in different geographic locations in Egypt.
Investigate and profile the needs, preferences and usage patterns of end-users, to create a mapping for renewable energy challenges and opportunities relating to geographical locations (based on existing database and field investigation)
Propose suitable renewable energies for different geographical locations in Egypt, offering insights for private investors.
Identify research topics to be included in renewable energy educational programmes. This may be extended to the design of new modules to be integrated in the existing programmes.
Propose potential job opportunities and economic empowerment to be created by specific renewable energy provisions.
disseminate the findings through a workshop in Cairo and online.
Comprehensive Investigation of As-Is situation
Capacity Building Workshops in Cairo, Egypt
Qualitative and Quantitative Data Collection in Egypt
Dissemination of results through 3 open access journal articles
Comprehensive data analysis to gain deeper insights
Dissemination through Websites and Conference papers