CAIRO: Egypt’s problem of frequent power cuts may be solved in three years, said Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker Wednesday.
The ministry aims to conserve 2,000 megawatts per day, which makes up 7 percent of the total consumption, Shaker said in an interview with CBC.
The minister said that even if his ministry received sufficient fuel for the power grid to operate at full capacity, would be a daily power cut for approximately one hour, due to issues with the aging infrastructure. He added that if the fuel deficit were at 20 percent, there could be power outages for as long as six hours per day.
The ministry has debts of 144 billion EGP ($20.6 billion), over 20 billion EGP of which is owed to the Ministry of Petroleum, Shaker said, adding that the financial problem of procuring fuel affects everyone.
The renewable energy department of the ministry is drafting a comprehensive report on the best locations to generate electricity from solar and wind power, Shaker told Al-Bawabah News on March 16, because the energy crisis in Egypt “will not be radically solved without other natural resources.”
The ministry set a plan to address the crisis in the summer by anticipating peaks of power loads and fuel needs in coordination with the Ministry of Petroleum, Shaker said in a Wednesday statement reported by Masrawy.
Furthermore, the ministry is studying setting a fixed time during which citizens should expect power to go off, MENA reported undersecretary of the ministry Aktham Abul-Ela as saying.
The Ministry will cut electricity whenever it needs to reduce loads, Abul-Ela said, noting that this should take place 15 minutes from the top of any hour until five minutes past it, reported MENA.
Egypt’s energy use has also been identified as a top priority of Minister of Environment Laila Iskander, who has promoted the use of solar energy and other renewable resources. The minister told Youm7 in mid-March her ministry aimed reduce electricity use by 20 percent “in the coming period.”