The sun has yet to shine on Algeria’s renewables dreams. It set a 22GW 2030 renewables target in 2011 but has little to show for it. For a country with abundant sun but reliant on stretched natural gas resources for power, this is a cause for concern. It only has 410MW of solar PV (mostly localized generation in remote areas: a mere 10MW is on-grid), 10MW of wind and 276MW of hydro according to the IEA’s recent Renewables 2019 report (see chart 1).
So, what’s the hold-up? As with almost any new project or program in Algeria, things take a while. An overstaffed sloth-like bureaucracy, stretched state finances (MEES, 1 November), and rules limiting foreign investment are major challenges. Algiers only managed to launch its renewables program late last-year, tendering 150MW of solar PV split into seven concessions ranging from 50MW to 10MW in size. The interest was there: 93 companies requested tender documents (MEES, 21 June), though only eight firms were shortlisted and five selected for the final phase. In the end, Algeria awarded just one 50MW concession last month. (CONTINUED - 1288 WORDS)