Alternative Energy Goes Mainstream - by James Chester
The politics of power, literally speaking, is a complicated game. Forced to balance the needs of a population that cannot survive without subsidized energy, and at the same time facing the need to diversify energy sources, the government finds itself in a quandary. How to secure reliable power sources for the coming decades, while maintaining growth and conserving valuable oil and gas reserves? Renewable energy could be part of the solution. The target, set by the Supreme Council for Energy, is to have 20% of electricity generated from renewable sources (predominantly wind and hydroelectric power) by 2020. Although wind only accounts for 1.5% of electricity generated, Egypt already has more wind energy capacity (310 megawatts (MW) out of a total capacity of 23,000 MW from all sources) than anywhere else in the Middle East and Africa. Hydroelectric power provides up to 12% of electricity, and as a sun-belt country, the potential to generate solar energy is huge. Added to that, the political will finally exists to make green energy viable.