Gov’t to buy renewable energy to encourage investment in sector
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou - YOUM7/Ahmed Hanafy

CAIRO: The government will soon start buying kilowatts of solar energy for 1.04 EGP (14 cents) and 0.85 EGP for wind energy from the private sector, Muharram Helal, head of the 10th of Ramadan Investor Association told Youm7 Thursday.

The Cabinet approved the tariff Wednesday as part of amending the law regulating the use of renewable energy.

The amendment aims to encourage the private sector to invest in the field of renewable energy to reduce the power grids’ dependence on fuel, and to enable the government to sell electricity produced by renewable energy to the public, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said at the Euromoney Egypt conference Wednesday.

The new price is a significant increase from the original price the government previously set at 0.17 EGP for a kilowatt of renewable energy, which made investors reluctant to invest in that field, economics professor Abdel Rahman Taha told The Cairo Post earlier in September.

Negotiations over the new tariff were prolonged due to a dispute between the government and businessmen, who wanted to gain more than a 30 percent profit margin, Taha said.

In July, the government increased electricity prices by 15 to 20 percent to reduce state subsidies, which were adopted during the socialist era of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s.

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