CAIRO, Egypt – The solar thermal power industry could be worth 16.4 billion Euros and create 54,000 jobs worldwide by 2025, according to a report launched today in Egypt by Greenpeace, the European Solar Thermal Power Industry Association (ESTIA) and IEA SolarPaces.
The report, “Concentrated Solar Thermal Power – Now”, is a practical blueprint, which proves that in two decades solar thermal power could supply clean electricity to more than 100 million people living in the sunniest parts of the world (1). Greenpeace and ESTIA are encouraging politicians and policymakers to support this new sustainable industry by taking the necessary steps laid out in the report, which provides a detailed action plan for Governments who want to invest in this new technology. It also illustrates how the Middle East and North Africa could become the main centre for solar power with the potential of also exporting electricity to Europe (2).
Egypt is one of the few countries in the world that has a Government department dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources. Under the direction of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (part of the Ministry of Energy) one of the first solar thermal power plants built since the 1980s will come on line in 2007 at El Koraimat near Cairo.
“Egypt is leading the world in exploiting this technology and demonstrating the solar potential of sunbelt regions. In the Mediterranean solar thermal power generation offers the same potential as the Wind power generation in other areas,” said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International Renewable Energy Campaigner. “This plant demonstrates the potential benefits of solar power not only for climate-friendly power generation but for the development of truly sustainable economies.”
In only two decades, the electricity generated from solar thermal power plants could be equivalent to the power generated by 72 coal-fired power stations, supplying enough electricity each year for Israel, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia combined or half the electricity demand of Australia. By 2040, the global demand for electricity is expected to double; 5% of which could be delivered by solar thermal power plants.
On November 7 and 8, the Chinese Government will host the Beijing Renewable Energy Conference 2005, where delegates will discuss the implementation of renewable energy target agreements made in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
The report outlines that given the right market conditions, the use of solar thermal power technology would cut CO2 emissions by 362 million tonnes by 2025 making an important contribution to international climate protection targets (3).
“The aim of the blueprint is to have solar thermal power plants implemented in the energy sector within the next couple of years,” said Dr. Michael Geyer, Executive Secretary from IEA SolarPaces. “Solar thermal power does not need to be invented, it is ready for global implementation today, especially in countries like Spain, the United States, Egypt, Israel, Algeria, South Africa, Mexico Australia and India. Each could have more than 500 MW of solar thermal projects by 2020.”
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions, which are essential to a green and peaceful future