Current Renewable Energy Potential in Egypt – An Overview

Egypt aims to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity generation to 42% by 2035, compared to 20% in 2022. This strategy is based on Egypt’s desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. The Egyptian government aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the overall share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation to meet the growing demand for energy. This shift aims to reduce the negative effects resulting from dependence on fossil fuels, such as high carbon emissions, higher energy intensity, and increased subsidies for fossil fuels. According to NREA (2023), the total electricity generation  from renewable energy in Egypt in 2023 reached 25,875 GWh, compared to 25,753 GWh in 2022.

renewables capacity in Egypt

1. Hydropower

The Aswan Dam was initially constructed between 1899 and 1902 for irrigation purposes and has been enlarged twice in 1929 and 1934. The dam was eventually equipped with a hydroelectric plant in 1960. (Britannica, 2023)

The Aswan High Dam construction started in 1959 and was completed on stages in the 1960s. The dam is located approx. 7 km upstream from the Aswan Dam. The dam was constructed to protect the country from high floods and droughts, increase the agricultural land, retain water from being wasted into the sea and generate electricity for economic growth, among other objectives. It has an installed hydroelectric generating capacity of 2,100 megawatts.

There are currently four main hydroelectric generating stations in Egypt, and there is potential for increasing the hydropower generation.

Figure 1 shows the changes in the electricity generated from hydropower during 2000/2001-2020/2021. It reached its maximum of 15510 GWh in 2007/2008, then decreased to 12863 GWh in 2009/2010 and continued to gradually increase until it reached 13545 GWh in 2015/2016, then it decreased again until it reached 13121 GWh in 2018/2019. The hydroelectric power generation increased by 14% to 15038 GWh in 2019/2020, compared to the previous year 2018/2019. Assiut hydroelectric power generation plants were operated in 2017/2018 with a production of 32.2 GWh before it increased to 207 GWh, a 543% increase.

hydropower generation in egypt

Figure 1: Energy Generated from Hydropower 2000/2001-2020/2021 (GWh)

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC)- Annual Reports (2003/2004-2020/2021).

Table 1 shows the changes in the hydropower energy generated from each of the main hydropower stations,  the high dam, Aswan Dam I, Aswan Dam II, Esna, and Naga Hamadi, from 2010/2011 to 2020/2021.

Table 2 indicates that the High Dam had the largest load in 2020/2021, producing 2400 MW, while the Assiut plants had the lowest load, producing 43.5 MW.

Table 1:  Energy Generated from Hydro Power Plants by Source (GWh)

hydroelectric in Egypt

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) – Annual Reports (2011/2012-2020/2021).

Table 2: Hydropower indicators 2020/2021

High Dam Aswan Dam I Aswan Dam II Esna Naga Hamadi Assiut
Generated Energy (GWH) 10329 1733 1581 453 439 234
Peak load (MW) 2400 280 270 84.4 66.2 43.5
Max. daily generated energy(GWh) 51.8 7.8 6.5 2 1.6 1.6
Efficiency (%) 84.8 84.5 88.7 90.4 87.7 82.4

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company(EEHC)- Annual Report 2020/2021.

2. Wind energy

In 1993, Egypt started the wind power program to generate electricity when the government established in Hurghada a 5 MW pilot wind farm (Hussein, Abokersh, Kost, & Schlegl, 2016). Figure 2 shows the electricity generated from wind energy during 2000/2001-2020/2021. The electricity produced from wind increased from 137 to 1524 GWh from 2000/2001 to 2011/2012. In 2012/2013, the electricity generated from wind decreased to 1260 GWh, a decrease of 17.32%, probably because of the political disturbance at that period. It continued to increase again, reaching its maximum of 5257 GWh in 2020/2021.

As shown in Figure 3, the lowest value of the installed capacity of wind was 140 MW in 2003/2004 and continued to increase until it reached 550 MW in 2010/2011, with an average rate of increase of 293%, although in reality, the rate has been increasing year after year. It remained constant until 2013/2014, likely because of the political disturbance. It then accelerated and increased from 967 to 1385 MW, a 43% increase from 2017/2018 to 2020/2021. Egypt accounted for 21% of Africa’s total wind generation capacity in 2020 (IRENA and AfDB, 2022).

wind energy in Egypt

Figure 2: Energy Generated from Wind 2000/2001-2020/2021 (GWh).

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) – Annual Reports (2003/2004-2020/2021).

installed wind power in Egypt

Figure 3: Installed Electrical Capacity from Wind  2000/2001-2020/2021 (MW).

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC)- Annual Reports (2003/2004-2020/2021).

Table 2 shows the values of the achieved fuel savings and Emissions reductions from wind production from 2010/2011 to 12016/2017.  The value shows a decrease from 312 to 269 ktoe in the period from  2010/2011 to 2012/2013, a decrease of 13.80%; then it increased again during the period (2013/2014-2016/2017), reaching 467.06 ktoe. The lowest emissions reduction value from wind production was 708 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2012/2013,  while the highest was 1223 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2016/2017.

The demonstration wind farm in Hurghada was constructed in 1992 and is the oldest wind farm in Egypt. It includes four units with a capacity of 100 kilowatts, and the local manufacturing rate of some components has reached 45% (Clausen et al., 2004). The Zafrana wind farm was installed in several phases, starting from 2000/2001, through governmental cooperation protocols with Germany, Denmark, Spain, and Japan. The installed wind energy capacity at Zafrana reached 754 MW in 2015/2016, and the farm includes 700 turbines of different models (CAPMAS, 2018).

Table 2: Fuel Saving and Emissions Reductions in Egypt 2010/2011-2016/2017.

Year Fuel-saving


Emissions reductions


2010/2011 312 822
2011/2012 327 856
2012/2013 269 708
2013/2014 278 728
2014/2015 309 792
2015/2016 432.18 1132
2016/2017 467.06 1223

Source: NREA, 2018

3. Solar power

Figure 4 indicates that Egypt did not use solar power at a reasonable commercial or private scale until 2010/2011 when the produced solar energy reached 206 GWh. The produced solar energy increased from 206 to 237 GWh from 2010/2011 to 2012/2013, a 15% increase before it dropped to 114 GWh in 2013/2014, a 52% decrease, likely because of the political unrest at that time.

Electricity produced from solar increased again from 114 to 1525 GWh from 2014/2015 to 2018/2019, a substantial increase of 1237%. It continued to accelerate and increased to 4945 GWh, a 224% increase from 2018/2019  to 2020/2021.

solar power generation in Egypt

Figure 4: Energy Generated from Solar in Egypt 2000/2001-2020/2021 (GWh).

Source: Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) – Annual Reports (2003/2004-2020/2021).

Figure 5 shows the installed solar power capacity from 2011/2012 to 2018/2019. The installed solar power capacity remained constant at 20 MW from 2011/2012 to 2015/2016. The addition of new projects increased the installed capacity to 89 MW in 2016/2017, increasing 345%. The big increase in the installed capacity of solar power occurred in 2020/2021 due to the addition of 1465 MW from Benban Solar Energy Park (EEHC, 2021).  In 2020, South Africa and Egypt were the top solar producers in Africa, representing more than 75% of the total installed solar capacity in Africa (IRENA and AfDB, 2022).

installed solar power in egypt

Figure 5: Installed Capacity Solar in Egypt 2011/2012-2020/2021 (MW).

Source: (CAPMAS, 2018) and (EEHC, 2021).

Table 3 shows Egypt’s fuel saving and emissions reductions from 2010/2011 to 2017/2018. It indicates that the first year of using solar energy witnessed a fuel saving of 46 ktoe and reduced emissions by 124 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent. The lowest value of the reduction in emissions was 63 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent (k-tCo2) in 2013/2014, while its highest value reached 319 (k-tCo2) in 2016/2017 before it decreased to 110 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent in the year 2016/2017.

solar energy potential in egypt

Similarly, the lowest fuel-saving value was 34 ktoe in 2015/2016, which rose to its maximum value of 119 ktoe, an increase of  250%.  Kuraymat solar hybrid plant was the first solar plant in Egypt and was launched commercially in July 2011. The project is one of 3 projects implemented in Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt, with an overall capacity of 140 MW (NREA, 2009).

Table 3: Fuel Saving and Emissions Reductions in Egypt  2010/2011-2017/2018.

Year Fuel-saving


Emissions reductions


2010/2011 46 124
2011/2012 102 271
2012/2013 51 134
2013/2014 58 63
2014/2015 0 0
2015/2016 34 92
2016/2017 119 319
2017/2018 110 287

Source: NREA, 2018


Hydropower was the first renewable energy source that Egypt used to generate electricity, maintaining its lead in renewable sources throughout the study period. We observed  a significant increase in wind  power during the period (2000/2001-2020/2021), as it increased from 137 GWh in the year 2000/2001 to 5257 GWh in the year 2020/2021, ranking second in generating electricity from renewable sources. However, the year 2012/2013 witnessed a decrease of 17.3% in wind-generated electricity compared to 2011/2012.  This decrease was attributed to political disturbance during that period.

Regarding solar energy, Egypt did not use solar energy in a reasonable commercial or private system until 2010/2011. The significant increase in solar electricity generation in 2019/2020 resulted from the construction of the Benban power plant. We can conclude that increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity generation in Egypt in recent years has had a positive impact in reducing emissions and saving fuel. These effects are expected to increase with the expansion of reliance on renewable energy.


CAPMAS. (2018). New and renewable energy in Egypt. Cairo.

Clausen, N., Mortensen, N. G., Hansen, J. C., Clausager, I., Jensen, F. P., Georgy, L., & Said, U. S. (2004). Wind Farm Planning at the Gulf of Suez (No. Ris0-R-1387; Vol. 1387). Roskilde.

EEHC. (2021). Egypt Electricity Holding company Annual Report. Retrieved from Accessed 1 Feb 2022

HuSSEIN, N. S., ABOkERSH, M., KOST, C., & SCHLEGL, T. (2016). Electricity Cost From Renewable ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IN EGYPT. Freiburg.

IRENA and AfDB. (2022). Renewable Energy Market Analysis : Africa and Its Regions. In Energy Market. Abu Dhabi and Abidjan: Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and Its Regions, International Renewable Energy Agency and African Development Bank.

NREA. (2009). New & Renewable Energy Authority – Annual Report 2018. Retrieved from

NREA. (2018). New & Renewable Energy Authority – Annual Report 2018. Retrieved from AnnualReport.pdf

NREA. (2023). Egypt- 2023 Renewable Energy Indications. Cairo: New and Renewable Energy Authority.

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About Tarek Safwat

Tarek Safwat Kabel is a lecturer in Economics at Faculty of Commerce in University of Sadat City. His research interest is in Energy Economics, Development Economics, and Monetary Economics. He have been awarded PhD in economics from University of Buckingham in United Kingdom. He is member of International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) since 2021 and have served on the Scientific Committees in several international conferences, including the Africa International Conference on Clean Energy and Energy Storage, the 8th International Conference on Advances in Clean Energy Research (ICACER 2023), and the 11th International Conference on Applied Energy.

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