A Green Future for Algeria

Published on Tuesday, 30 June 2015

An agreement that promotes the sharing of knowledge and expertise on renewables and energy efficiency, the development of innovative technologies, discussions on regulatory frameworks and financing mechanisms, as well as pilot projects to develop new business models. Res4Med (Renewable Energy Solutions for the Mediterranean), an international network dedicated to the promotion of the renewable energy sector in the Mediterranean, and Sonelgaz (Société Algérienne de l'Electricité et du Gaz), Algeria's leading electricity and gas company, have signed a three-year cooperation agreement to promote each other's expertise in the renewable energy sector, share best practices and build an environment that promotes investments in the sector in North Africa.

Algeria is facing an energy transition in response to a great demographic expansion and economic growth that is affecting many countries in the area. Renewable technologies are increasingly cost-competitive, allowing them to meet the growing need for energy in a considerably faster way than large thermoelectric power plants. Therefore, green resources represent the perfect solution for the Mediterranean's needs, considering the abundant availability of natural resources and the possibility to generate positive socio-economic benefits for local communities (in situations such as the frequent  blackouts in some regions of Egypt and the various areas of Algeria that still lack access to electricity).

The agreement was signed in Algiers by the CEO of Sonelgaz, Noureddine Boutarfa, and Francesco Venturini, president of RES4MED and CEO of Enel Green Power. The Enel Group was in fact one of the founding members of the non-profit association that was launched three years ago and that is composed of 21 industry leaders interested in investment opportunities in the Mediterranean and in acting as a bridge, both with individual countries such as Algeria and at a regional level through the European Commission and Union for the Mediterranean. The partnership has taken place at a crucial stage in the development of renewable energy in Algeria. The Algerian government has in fact set a goal to generate 27 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with the installation of 22 GW of capacity primarily from PV, wind, CSP and biomass technologies.