Egypt and UNIDO have signed a cooperation agreement over a campaign to promote new and renewable energy sources in heating systems for the private sector. The campaign, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is expected to cost US$6.5 million.
According to Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, Egypt should obtain 20 percent of its electricity through solar energy by 2020, by generating 8,000 megawatts, 67 percent of which will come from the private sector.
In remarks on Tuesday, the minister expressed support for the use of renewable energy sources, especially solar energy, for the purpose of industry. He said that Egypt has the necessary raw materials, required to produce solar panels and it is therefore perfectly able to develop the sector further.
The project, according to the minister, is aimed at developing solar energy technologies locally, in order to encourage its application in several industrial sectors, especially the energy-intensive ones. It is also aimed at creating more jobs in the manufacturing and solar energy sectors.
Meanwhile, Li Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said that the project comes within a larger package of programs and initiatives carried out by the organization in collaboration with the Egyptian government, such as programs related to enhancing energy efficiency, and new and renewable energy sources. According to Yong, the use of modern technologies in energy production has become imperative for all acountries, and is therefore one of the main focus areas of UNIDO, especially if the program in question also generates jobs.
UNIDO, he added, will cooperate with Egypt in providing the necessary technical and vocational training to the project staff.