Algeria plans to achieve gradual energy transition

The minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, sazid Saturday that Algeria planned to achieve a gradual and responsible energy transition, through the adoption of an energy mix preserving the natural resources for the future generations.

During his address at the opening of the 27th Energy Day, which was organized by the National Polytechnic School of Algiers under the theme “Climate change, sobriety, and green hydrogen,” the minister stated that Algeria’s energy policy is aimed at achieving a gradual and responsible energy transition. The event was attended by government officials, parliamentarians, and academics.

This involves “adopting a diversified energy mix taking into account all available, least expensive and cleanest energies while benefiting from the achievements of improving energy capacity and working to control energy consumption to preserve natural resources for future generations”, he explained.

In this respect, Mr Arkab recalled that Algeria has been working since the 1980s, via Sonelgaz, on the integration of renewable energies, by supplying 20 villages with solar energy in the South, with the implementation of 22 photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 344 MWp and the launch of hybrid projects with a programme of 50 MWp.

In this context, the Minister recalled the commissioning of the first photovoltaic power plants in 2021 and 2022, adding that the remaining power plants will be commissioned during 2023.

To this end, Sonelgaz is working on the implementation of all programmes, with an estimated total power of 15,000 MWp, at an accelerated rate, across more than 40 provinces of the national territory, “before the end of the current decade”.

In order to develop the use of electric vehicles in Algeria, the Minister indicated that Sonelgaz will carry out experimental projects with a view to setting up 1,000 EV charging station.

Arkab also said that his sector is working to improve energy efficiency and sobriety, while preserving resources, through a multisectoral programme that aims to integrate energy efficiency measures into construction, transport and industry, and by encouraging a local industry to manufacture LED lamps, solar-powered bath heaters and thermal insulation.

In the field of gas flaring, Mr Arkab recalled “Sonatrach’s membership of the global initiative “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030”.

Furthermore, Sonatrach is working with the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) and in collaboration with the World Bank (WB) on scientific and technological research to measure and limit methane gas emissions once and for all.

During the visit to the exhibition organised on the sidelines of this meeting, Mr Arkab also referred to the launch of an experimental operation, lasting 8 months, for the storage of solar energy in two new power stations with a capacity of 3 and 4 megawatts respectively, operated by Sonelgaz in Djanet province, in order to supply these areas with electricity.

The minister also indicated that this is the first project of its kind in Algeria in the field of production and storage of 100% solar energy, affirming that this kind of power stations will be strengthened and generalised to all the regions of the South, in particular to In Guezzam and Tinzaouatine, with the aim of reducing the use of natural gas and diesel in electricity production.

For her part, the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energies, Samia Moualfi, said that the energy transition is now “a strategic axis for Algeria”, to achieve a rate of 30% of renewable energy by 2035, recalling that as part of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, Algeria aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 7% by 2030, with a possibility to increase it to 22%, if it receives international financial support.

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