Algeria Tries Desperately to Emulate Morocco Success in Africa & Solar Energy
After the breakthrough made by Morocco in Africa, neighboring rival Algeria tries to no avail to follow suit, by announcing a $ 360 million investment in Ethiopia, a risky move that will likely deepen further the country’s budget deficit already worsening since the fall of oil prices.
The Algerian private group Cevital said Tuesday that it was looking for partners to fund its projects in Ethiopia. Cevital is planning to build in this African country two plants, one specialized in oilseeds crushing, while the other is for the sugar industry.
These projects were unveiled Tuesday by Issad Rebrab, CEO of Cevital, during a forum held in Geneva but prompted no interests from foreign investors due to the issue of corruption plaguing Algerian businesses besides lack of transparence and good governance.
Algerian decision-makers and authorities are also trying hard to mimic Morocco in solar energy by announcing big projects in this sector. But according to Mr. Mourad Louadah, president of the renewable energy division of local trade industry association Forum des Chefs d’Entreprise (CFE), the 4 GW tender for solar projects unveiled lately by the Algerian government is doomed to fail.
In an interview with a local radio station, Louadah said the tender might not even be launched, noting that some requirements will make it impossible for project developers to offer low bids and make the investments to set up solar manufacturing facilities across the country.
Furthermore, Louadah said that Algeria has not the expertise to manage the three 1.35 GW tenders announced for the 4 GW plan and that tenders allocating up to 500 MW of PV capacity would have been a more feasible solution.
On the contrary, Morocco is becoming a vanguard of solar revolution in the region thanks to its huge investments in renewable energy. The country’s Noor Ouarzazate solar complex – one of the world’s largest – uses concentrated solar power (CSP) to produce clean energy.
The first phase of this 9 billion dollar solar-power project that has been under construction opened in 2016, making use of vast arrays of mirrors, rather than the more widely used photovoltaic panels, to produce electricity from sunlight.
When it is finished in 2018, the Noor Solar Power station will cover more than 5,000 acres and have a generating capacity of 580 megawatts, enough to meet the electricity needs of 1.1 million Moroccans.
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) has increased its target to set up 4 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020 up to 10 gigawatts by 2030.
The North African country plans to generate 42 pc of its energy from renewables by 2020, with one-third of that total coming from solar, wind and hydropower.