Can Algeria Live Up To Its Renewable Potential?

Algeria plans 22GW renewables capacity by 2030, lessening a reliance on gas. But falling oil prices and export revenue could make these plans difficult to fulfill.

Algiers is reliant on hydrocarbons for 97% of export revenues. Even before the 50% fall in oil prices since mid-2014, revenues were on a downward trajectory. Oil output is falling. Gas production is stagnant whilst exports have fallen sharply as domestic consumption has risen: 46% of Algeria’s 2013 gas production was consumed domestically – 36.6 bcm of 79.7 bcm sales gas output.

This appears to have risen further to around 38 bcm for 2014, with increased domestic power and petrochemicals consumption further cutting into exports. Plans to add 15.6GW of gas-fired power capacity (necessitating 20 bcm/year of gas according to MEES estimates) by end-2016 mean that, even if production can be raised modestly, exports and revenue are set to continue falling (MEES, 27 March).


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