Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Algerian Program (English Version)

Lundi 25 avril 2011

Renewable Energy Development Center Web site

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Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Algerian Program

Algeria has created a green momentum by launching an ambitious program to develop renewable energies (REn) and promote energy efficiency. This program leans on a strategy focussed on developing and expanding the use of inexhaustible resources, such as solar energy in order to diversify energy sources and prepares Algeria of tomorrow. Through combining initiatives and the acquisition of knowledge, Algeria is engaged in a new age of sustainable energy use.

The program consists of installing up to 22 000 MW of power generating capacity from renewable sources between 2011 and 2030, of which 12 000 MW will be intended to meet the domestic electricity demand and 10 000 MW destined for export. This last option depends on the availability of a demand that is ensured on the long term by reliable partners as well as on attractive external funding.

In this program, renewable energies are at the heart of Algeria’s energy and economic policies : It is expected that about 40% of electricity produced for domestic consumption will be from renewable energy sources by 2030. Algeria is indeed aiming to be a major actor in the production of electricity from solar photovoltaic and solar power, which will be drivers of sustainable economic development to promote a new model of growth.

The national potential for renewable energy is strongly dominated by solar energy. Algeria considers this source of energy as an opportunity and a lever for economic and social development, particularly through the establishment of wealth and job-creating industries. The potential for wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower energies is comparatively very small. This does not, however, preclude the launch of several wind farm development projects and the implementation of experimental projects in biomass and geothermal energy.

The renewable energy and energy efficiency program is organized in five chapters :
- Capacities to install by field of energy activity,
- Energy efficiency program,
- Industrial capacities to build in order to back up the program,
- Research and development,
- Incentives and regulatory measures.

The program provides for the development by 2020 of about sixty solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power plants, wind farms as well as hybrid power plants.

The projects for the domestic production of electricity from renewable energy sources will be carried out in three phases :

- The first phase, between 2011 and 2013, will be devoted to the achievement of pilot projects to test the different available technologies,
- The second phase (2014 – 2015) will mark the beginning of the deployment of the program,
- The last phase, between 2016 and 2020, will be devoted to the large-scale deployment of the program.

These phases are a part of Algeria’s strategy, which is aimed at developing a genuine solar industry along with a training and capitalization program that will ultimately enable the use of local engineering and establish efficient know-how, including in the fields of engineering and project management. The renewable energy program to meet domestic needs in electricity will generate several thousand of direct and indirect jobs.

Today, Algeria’s energy needs are met almost exclusively by hydrocarbons, mainly natural gas. The other forms of energy are mobilized only when natural gas cannot be used. The long term extension of the national energy consumption pattern can affect the existing supply-demand balance for this energy source.

The level of natural gas volumes, produced of the domestic market would be 45 billions m3 in 2020 and 55 billions m3 in 2030. Other volumes of natural gas are intended for export to help finance national economy. Electricity consumption is expected to reach 75 to 80 TWh in 2020 and 130 to 150 TWh in 2030. The massive integration of renewable sources in the energy mix represents a major challenge for preserving fossil resources, diversifying electricity production systems and contributing to sustainable development.

All these considerations justify the strong integration, right today, of renewable energies in the strategy of long-term energy offer, while granting an important role to energy savings and to energy efficiency. This latter aspect will lead, through a proper control of the pace at which demand is growing, to better investments necessary to energy needs. The energy efficiency program consists mainly in the achievement of the following :

- Improving heat insulation of buildings ;
- Developing solar water heating ;
- Spreading the use of low energy consumption lamps ;
- Substituting all mercury lamps by sodium lamps ;
- Promoting LPG and NG fuels ;
- Promoting co-generation ;
- Conversing simple cycle power plants to combined cycle power plants, wherever possible ;
- Developing solar cooling systems
- Desalinating brackish water using renewable energy.

The renewable energy development program has a national character affecting the majority of sectors. Its implementation, under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, is opened to both public and private operators.

The government’s willingness to promote renewable energies is also reflected in the establishment of a Commission for renewable energy, responsible to coordinate the national effort in this area.

The present document, which lists Algeria’s projects and ambitions in terms of sustainable development and “green energies”, is part of this drive for the promotion and development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

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