The 1.6 gigawatt solar park Egypt is building in the south of the country is expected to be operating at full capacity in 2019, the investment ministry said in a statement. The USD $2 billion project is on track to be the world’s largest solar installation.
It has been partly funded by the World Bank, which invested USD $653 million through the International Finance Corporation. During his visit to the site alongside Egypt’s Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, World Bank President David Malpass said, “Egypt’s energy sector reforms have opened a wider door for private sector investments.”
Egypt’s goal is to meet 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022, and 40 percent by 2035. Renewable energy currently covers only about 3 percent of the country’s needs. Some areas of the solar park are already operational on a small scale, while other areas undergo testing.
Investors fled the country during the 2011 popular revolt that forced President Ḥosnī Mubarak, one of the region’s longest-serving and most influential leaders, from power. Egypt aims to lure investors back alongside a multitude of economic reforms and incentives that the government hopes will draw in fresh capital and kickstart growth. Most of the foreign direct investment Egypt attracts goes toward its energy sector.