Egypt plans subsea solar energy exports to Europe

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Egypt’s authorities has reaffirmed its plans to launch a subsea electrical energy cable with Greece to allow electrical energy from Egyptian photo voltaic amenities to produce the nation and the broader European vitality market.

Egypt’s overseas minister Sameh Shoukry met along with his counterpart from Greece on the UN Normal Meeting final week for discussions on the so-called GREGY interconnector.

The plans are being spearheaded by the Copelouzos Group, a Greek conglomerate, and Infinity Energy – a three way partnership between UAE-based renewable vitality agency Masdar and Egyptian firm Infinity.

The interconnector would be capable of transmit 3,000 MW of photo voltaic and wind vitality generated by Infinity Energy to Greece by way of a subsea energy cable that will likely be round 1,400km lengthy.

The challenge “offers an important alternative” for Europe, says Carlos Torres, head of fuel and energy markets analysis at consulting agency Rystad Vitality. He notes that the continent is at present doing “all the things that’s doable” to scale back its dependence on fossil fuels.

“Egypt has significantly better circumstances that the majority of Europe for growing photo voltaic methods,” Torres factors out. Certainly, a 2020 World Financial institution examine confirmed that Egypt and different international locations within the Center East and North Africa boast the world’s best photo voltaic vitality potential, whereas northern European international locations have among the many least beneficial circumstances for photo voltaic.

Whereas Europe’s scramble for energy has been well-documented because the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Egypt has its personal energy wants. The nation has suffered a collection of blackouts this summer time, highlighting a long-term failure to put money into vitality for its rising inhabitants.

Nonetheless, with a number of vitality tasks at present underneath development – together with the nation’s first nuclear energy station – Torres believes that Egypt will take pleasure in a extra “comfy scenario” sooner or later, enabling it to satisfy home provide whereas additionally exporting energy.

Mediterranean vitality street

The GREGY interconnector is certainly one of a number of schemes designed to attach North Africa with Europe. There are already two subsea cables that transmit electrical energy between Morocco and Spain. A number of different tasks are within the planning phases, together with a lot of schemes to produce energy from Tunisia to Italy.

The GREGY interconnector, if constructed, could be longer than any subsea transmission line at present in operation. It could be virtually twice so long as the present document holder, a not too long ago accomplished hyperlink between Denmark and Britain.

However GREGY could be smaller than different schemes on the drafting board, notably a proposed cable that may provide electrical energy generated in Morocco on to the British electrical energy grid.

This challenge, being developed by UK-based start-up Xlinks, would require an undersea cable extending 3,800km across the western fringe of Europe. The acute size of the connection would improve the quantity of electrical energy misplaced throughout transmission, even when latest technological enhancements scale back transmission losses.

The GREGY interconnector’s method seems extra sensible, because it takes electrons generated in Egypt to the closest level on the European mainland – from the place the facility may very well be equipped to different European international locations.

Whereas builders are using quite a lot of approaches, there appears little doubt North Africa’s photo voltaic assets will proceed to attract the gaze of power-hungry European governments as they scour the world for inexperienced alternate options to Russian fuel.

“It’s doubtless that we’ll be seeing increasingly high-voltage, long-distance connections”, says Torres.


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