Imagine these three scenarios.
Imagine life on Earth if we continue using fossil fuels. A life relying only on oil, coal, and gas to produce the energy needed to power our transportation, offices, schools, institutions, and households. The more we burn fossil fuels, the more we release harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere, leading to a rise in global temperatures, and climate change.
As this never-ending cycle of burning fossil fuels for energy and the global warming of our planet continues, sea levels are also rising. Extreme weather conditions become more frequent, unpredictable, and intense, posing risks on human lives, property, and livelihoods, affecting food production and security, animal ecosystems, and biodiversity. Our air is increasingly toxic, leading to a rise in breathing issues and making us more vulnerable to other health issues
The issues linked to the burning of fossil fuels are further compounded by the fact that they are not infinite. Once these resources are used up, they cannot be replaced. Approximately 80% of the total amount of global energy generated worldwide each year comes from non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels. So, what happens when fossil fuels run out?
Imagine life on Earth without the electricity that powers our hospitals, schools, and factories. We wouldn’t be able to get to work, cook or heat our houses.
Now imagine life on Earth powered 100% by renewable energy resources, such as solar energy. Provided by the sun, solar energy is a renewable source of clean energy that is entirely sustainable. Solar energy systems and power plants do not release any greenhouse or harmful gases into the environment, slowing down climate change, decreasing habitat loss, air, and water pollution. Because the sun is an abundant source of energy, we will not be running out anytime soon.
This third scenario is possible.
Our solar energy project “Egypt PV” is betting on it. The project aims to accelerating Egypt’s transition to clean energy and a sustainable future by developing grid-connected small scale photovoltaic systems. Implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, in partnership with the Industrial Modernization Center (IMC) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), “Egypt-PV” works to remove the barriers to increased power generation by small, decentralized, grid-connected PV systems implemented by households and small- and medium-sized enterprises. The project’s strategy builds on the planned Government initiatives to develop a market for small, decentralized renewable energy power generation by ensuring adequate returns on targeted private sector investments.
This project has led so far to the installation of 129 solar PV plants, with number of beneficiaries expected to reach 10,000 person per year according to the World Bank’s Electric power consumption (kWh per capita), in 15 governorates with a total capacity of 11 MWp and a total saving of electricity estimated at 16.5 GWh/year. It includes 21 PV plants in the industrial sector, 8 in the commercial sector, 8 in the public buildings sector, 7 in the tourism sector, 5 in the educational services sector and 75 PV plants in the residential sector. In November 2020, Egypt PV was awarded the best project internationally in the “Low Carbon” category of the 21st British Energy Institute’ annual competition “EI Awards” for 2020.
Solar Energy: A Bright Future in Egypt
Egypt is considered a “sunbelt” country. Most days, the sun is shining bright for up to 11 hours. Switching to solar energy can also help meet Egypt’s growing electricity demand in a climate-friendly way while helping people reduce their energy costs:
- It can drastically reduce electricity bills: Using solar energy will allow you to save more money, especially with the future subsidies removal policies on energy. Depending on the Solar System’s size you choose to install, you may save up to 100% of your electricity bill.
- It’s a low maintenance, durable system. Most panels are guaranteed by the manufacturers with a performance warranty of 20-25 years.
- It increases the value of buildings Value: Studies have shown that homes with Photovoltaic Systems sell 15% faster than homes without solar.
Tapping into this potential can be a game-changer for the country, its people, and the planet. Projects like Egypt PV shifts the world towards the path of clean energy, good health, and a sustainable future.
Written by: Malak Wagih, Noran Said