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    How will Egypt achieve sustainable, low-emmision economic growth?


    May 23, 2022 - Samar Samir

     

      -- -- -- -- CAIRO - 21 May 2022: To achieve sustainable and low-emmision economic growth, the first main goal of Egypt's National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, the government put a four-pillar plan to enhance its economic growth with green projects.

      Increasing share of renewable energy

      Firstly, the government focused on increasing its share of renewable sources of energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from burning natural gas, according to the report of the 2050 strategy issued by the Ministry of Environment on May 19.

      Egypt is depending more on natural gas now that the country has achieved self-sufficiency following the recent discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea, said the report, noting that the share of renewable energy sources in producing electricity has reached 4.4 percent in 2019/2020, with an increase of more than 200,000 megawatts compared to 2015/2016.

      The government is working on enhancing green energy by using wind and solar energy, besides producing electricity from water at the High Dam in Aswan, southern Egypt.

      According to a blueprint framed by the Ministry of Electricity, the share of renewable energy sources would reach 42 percent of the electricity production in 2035, the report said.

      To increase the renewable energy production, the government will deploy centralized systems for renewable energy on a large scale, such as wind farms, concentrated solar energy, solar photovoltaic plants, and bioenergy plants. It would also promote the usage of small-scale decentralized systems such as rooftop solar power system.

      The government will also adopt new alternative energy sources such as green hydrogen, blue hydrogen, and nuclear energy, while phasing out using coal, switching to low carbon fuels, and using biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels.

      Reducing fossil fuel emissions

      The government is targeting the use of low-carbon alternative fuels in areas, where the fuel is essential for the operating process. It headed to natural gas at power stations nationwide, as the natural gas contribution amounted to 1.94% during 2019/2020, with a reduction in diesel consumption, the report read.

      Consequently, it is working on making cars run on compressed natural gas instead of oil; raising the efficiency of the infrastructure of roads to reduce periods of congestion traffic; expanding mass transport networks that rely on electricity such as the metro, electric trains and buses; and encouraging ships to run on natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

      The government also headed to the technologies using carbon capture, and the utilization and storage, in addition to developing a network of trains transporting goods, and increasing its capacity to work as an alternative to transporting cars. It also raises public awareness of using non-motorized transportation means like bicycles.

      Optimizing Energy Efficiency

      This is the third pillar on which the government relies to achieve sustainable development and enhance its economy.

      The Egyptian government is improving the efficiency of thermal power plants, and encouraging the establishment of smart cities and digital transformation, which contributes to reducing energy consumption.

      Adopting sustainable consumption, production of non-energy related activities

      Agriculture and waste sectors contribute to increasing global warming. The agricultural sector is one of the most sensitive sectors to climate change. So, the government seeks to increase agricultural productivity with maintaining low levels of emissions. Meanwhile, it is working on the development of a waste management system.

      Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture started using crops that consume low water rates and 4R Principle (reduce, reuse, recycle and recover) for municipal and agricultural waste. Safe and proper disposal of solid waste has been applied. It is also encouraging supportive policies to reduce single-use plastics.

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