15 February 2012 – Egypt, which has been touted as the front runner in the Middle Eastern and North African region in the adoption of wind power has contracted turbine manufacturer Gamesa to equip a 200 MW wind farm.

The Spanish company will deliver 100 turbines to a project on the Red Sea coast based on a deal signed with Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority. Egypt is also reported to be close to awarding contracts for a 1,000 MW wind farm, to be operational in 2016.

The country has the region’s most favourable conditions for wind power, and the costs of subsidising fossil fuels used in power generation and the prospect of the jobs that an alternative-energy industry could bring to a country struggling with high unemployment has seen government commit to the wind sector. Egypt has committed to production of 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Wind will play a key role in this strategy, and there are plans for wind farms to provide a total of 7,200 MW.

Egypt already has wind farms providing 550 MW to the national grid. Two thirds of total future capacity will be privately owned, and the government has pledged to introduce a feed-in tariff for renewable energy by the end of the year.