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Helping Egypt with sustainable energy for water pumps

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Published on: 23 April 2021 | Changed on: 26 April 2021

The Netherlands is working together with the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) in Egypt. Together, they are developing a quality standard for the certification of off-grid solar panel systems. As a result, the country will reduce its use of fossil fuels and have cleaner air for its people. The partnership will also help Egypt meet its sustainable energy targets.

Egypt has big ambitions for sustainable energy. The country wants at least 50% of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2035. Egypt wants to use solar-powered water pumps to take a big step forward in the energy transition. The Netherlands shares knowledge with other countries through the Energy Transition Facility (ETF). In this case, it is helping Egypt develop and introduce new laws and regulations for solar-powered water pumps.

Big potential

By using solar power for its water pumps, Egypt can reduce the use of fossil fuels such as diesel. This helps farmers, as they will no longer need to buy fuel. And it also means fewer emissions and cleaner air for the country’s people. The solar panels are off-grid, which means they are not connected to an electricity grid. So they can be used in remote agricultural areas.

In Egypt, NREA is responsible for projects involving renewable energy. Ehab Ismail Ameen is Vice President of Technical Affairs at NREA. He says that Egypt could generate up to 2 gigawatts of power with off-grid solar panels. It is important to regulate the market for off-grid systems better to guarantee good quality.

New standards

This is where the Netherlands comes in. Solar power is already common in Egypt. But Egypt does not have standards for off-grid systems. Imagine that a farmer wants to buy a solar panel system for his water pump. Right now, there is no way for him to know whether the quality of the system is good.

Effective certification is an important part of the energy transition. “It is a way for the NREA to guarantee the quality of the systems,” says Mr Ameen. A quality mark also leads to confidence from the banks the farmers rely on for financing. Mr Ameen states, “We also want to raise awareness so that people are better informed about what they are buying. They can then check whether the products they buy are certified.”

Sharing knowledge

The Netherlands is helping Egypt via the ETF programme. The programme brought NREA into contact with the Dutch consultancy firm DAREL. An advisor from DAREL helped NREA develop a road map for regulating the market. This includes testing and certification for off-grid solar panel systems and their parts.

Energy Transition Facility

ETF projects focus on collaboration at the policy level. National governments can ask for advice and knowledge via ETF. Our advisors will decide which tools within or outside the Netherlands Enterprise Agency best support the proposal, plan or idea. The core focus is to improve and support the policy and stability of the energy transition in the MENA region. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries out ETF on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information, please visit the ETF page.