Electricity Ministry mulls price increase
Generating Electricity station in Egypt - YOUM7 (Archive)
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: Raising the price of electricity between one and three piasters ($.0014- $.0042) per kilowatt would save 4.8 billion EGP ($690 million) per year, according to a statement by the Ministry of Electricity Saturday.

This money could be used to support the renewable energy, the ministry said.

The “Coalition of Electricity’s Revolutionaries,” a group of electric workers, released a statement Sunday criticizing the Ministry’s announcement and described it as an attempt to exploit the electricity crisis to achieving a temporary political gain.

First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy Research Mohamed Moussa Omran said that the increase would provide a sustainable mechanism to bridge the gap between the price of electricity generated from renewable sources and the price of electricity produced from conventional sources like fossil fuels.  He added that if one piaster were added to the price of kilowatt, this will provide Egypt with 1.6 billion EGP annually that could be used to support the renewable energies.

“The maximum power load hit 28,500 megawatts in summer, while the minimum load was 15,465 megawatts,” said Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker during an interview on CBC T.V channel on March 6.

Egyptian citizens would feel a noticeable improvement of the power situation in the upcoming days, Minister of electricity and renewable energy Mohamed Shaker told Youm7 Sunday.

“Egypt will witness a breakthrough in the fuel crisis,” Shaker said.

However, a source told Youm7 in February that the coming summer will witness “one of the worst fuel and energy shortages in Egypt” given the decline of energy production, while consumption rates increase dramatically.

The lack of fuel is the main reason behind the power outages, Hafez Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, told The Cairo Post in March. On April 3, the ministry spokesperson Aktham Abul-Ela said that one of the Ministry’s suggestions is to have a fixed time during which citizens should expect electricity to go off.

Egyptians were complaining about daily power cuts since the summer of 2012, and although ministries are now discussing power alternatives like solar or coal-powered energy, the most likely solution for most Cairenes will be to endure some hours of darkness in the summer.

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