Hope and solar power

Hope and solar power

The future of energy

Nothing grows here, 12 miles from the Nile. Yellow, flat, hot and barren, the desert stretches as far as the eye can see.

But the biggest renewable energy development in Africa is about to turn an impoverished stretch of southern Egypt into a source of renewal as vital as the river nearby.

By 2019, 37 square km of desert near the village of Benban, outside Aswan, will be covered with panels – a vast solar park made up of multiple plots allocated to different sponsors.

Developments such as Benban will not only change Egypt –which, though plentifully supplied with sun, currently has almost no solar generation – but also have revolutionary potential for the rest of the world.

As the global community grapples with becoming less dependent on polluting hydrocarbons, unexpectedly big drops in the cost of producing clean energy in the past two years have made it competitive with conventional energy in more and more countries.

This makes it likelier that solar and wind power – traditionally the preserve of tiny niche producers – could soon be scaled up to industrial levels that could help save the planet from runaway climate change.

“There is no denying we are in the midst of a revolution in the energy sector.”
(Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director, Energy & Natural Resources.)

Read the full story by Vanora Bennett and the EBRD's audiovisual team.

Hope and solar power

Good practices and European projects map


Good practices and European projects map

About the author

Medspring Agora team's picture

The Euro-Mediterranean AGORA is a way to engage the civil society in the institutional and policy dialogue on research and innovation with the aim of becoming an integral part of the decision making and governance processes.

The Agora is an important component of the broader MEDSPRING project, supported by the European Union with the aim of strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue and cooperation on research and innovation.