New Energy.
Algeria Focus Q1 2021

Prepared exclusively for the ABBC by ItriInsights

With the support of Neptune Energy & Petrofac


ABBC Chairman Lady Olga Maitland announces the launch of a quarterly renewable energy review, entitled, New Energy, Algeria Focus. ‘The drive for renewable energy solutions is an imperative in a modern world. This has been reflected by not only government initiatives but also by the private sector.

The ABBC is conscious of the efforts to address the changes by the Algerian and UK governments, but also pay tribute to the exciting, innovative and ambitious research being undertaken by the private sector. Without them, we would not have the brave new world and options they are presenting to us. In the ABBC reports we are grateful to Neptune Energy and Petrofac for sharing with us their own research, and giving support to our programme to inform a wider public. As the reader will note, we will cover a range of private sector research programmes both from the UK and Algeria, and trust that he will share our enthusiasm for their creativity which will be the benefit to us all.’

A statement by the UK Ambassador to Algeria, H.E. Sharon Wardle:
I welcome this report by the ABBC and the initiative to create new linkages and partnerships between UK and Algerian companies with the shared ambition to support energy transition and promote green solutions.
COP26 presents a significant milestone for the transition to a sustainable future. It is clear that the challenge we face can only be solved by cooperation and collaboration between governments and the private sector.
Both the UK and Algeria have clear strategies for energy transition – with concrete actions to deliver Paris Agreement commitments. Working together, we can make greater progress on clean energy innovation. We can develop solutions faster, increase economies of scale, and bring down costs quicker.
Sharon Wardle, HM Ambassador
British Embassy, Algiers

A statement by the Ambassador of Algeria to the UK, H.E. Abderrahmane Benguerrah:
This is a timely report as it is published as Algeria is redoubling its efforts to promote the development of renewable energies and clean and efficient technologies in order to achieve a successful energy transition, which is a major priority and an essential condition to ensure its energy security and preserve its environment. For these purposes, it has created a ministry in charge of Energy Transition and Renewable Energies
In this framework, Algeria welcomes partnerships with countries, such as the UK, which has firms with great experience and expertise in renewable and clean energies.
At the international level, Algeria sees its efforts for Green Energy as a contribution to the global strategy to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on the Climate. This Agreement has the ability to protect the interests of all States Parties since it recognizes the leadership and responsibility of the developing countries for reaching the targets it set, in view of their technological and financial capacities, but also in view of their historical responsibility.
We are optimistic that COP26, under British leadership, will be a great success and a big step towards the consolidation of international solidarity to face up the challenge of global warming.
Abderrahmane Benguerrah
Ambassador of Algeria to the UK

A statement by the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Algeria, Lord Risby:
I warmly congratulate the ABBC on this excellent comprehensive green energy report which makes for essential reading.
For more than 50 years Algeria has been a totally reliable supplier of LNG to the United Kingdom UK companies have over many years made substantial investments in the energy sector in Algeria Both countries are now transitioning to a greener future, thus our important energy partnership is evolving. The UK has pledged to be the world leader in carbon reduction with a diversity of actions and incentives.
The City of London is promoting green technology instruments and green investment to encourage businesses to invest and innovate. Our hosting Cop-26 this year with the highest level of international attendance will reinforce the necessity to fight climate change, and call for world co-ordination to effect this.
UK businesses, encouraged by Algeria’s firm commitments and a more attractive investment framework in the sector, with the full support of Her Majesty’s Government, are encouraged to seize the opportunity that is being presented in Algeria today.
Lord Risby
UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Algeria

Algeria’s abundant solar resources

Adel Baba Aissa, Board member at Renewable Energy Partner.
The first national program dedicated to the development and promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency (“PNEREE”) in Algeria, was adopted by the government on February 3, 2011. It aimed for a production capacity rate of 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The objective was to ensure a renewable electricity production capacity of 22,000 MW, of which 10,000 MW would be dedicated to export. At the time, the PNEREE was one of the largest and most ambitious renewable energy programmes in Africa.

However, the planned implementation schedule of the PNEREE has never been followed. Indeed, only three pilot projects have seen the light of day with an overall power of 36.3 MW, i.e. :

  • a. The hybrid power plant (gas-solar thermal) of Hassi-Rmel, with 25 MWp of solar thermal with CSP concentration (commissioned in 2011);
  • b. The 1.1 MWp photovoltaic (PV) plant in Ghardaïa, encompassing the four PV technologies, with and without sun tracking (commissioned in 2014); and
  • c. The 10.2 MWp Kabertène wind farm (Adrar), comprising 12 wind turbines with a nominal power of 850 KW each (commissioned in 2014).

For the rest, only a program totalling 343 MWp of solar photovoltaic plants was launched in early 2014, in the form of EPC projects, by SKTM a subsidiary of Sonlegaz.

In 2015, the first version of PNEREE was updated. It was motivated by notable changes in the world in terms of investment costs and production of electricity based on various renewable resources. However, like the first version of the program, the updated plan has not been implemented.

More recently, in 2020 a National Energy Transition Program was launched with a capacity of 16,000 MW by 2035 and this exclusively based on photovoltaic solar energy (PV). It has been submitted as one of the key pieces of energy transition in Algeria. Thus, 15,000 MWp are intended to be produced exclusively by solar power plants connected to the national electricity grid, of which a first tranche of 4,000 MWp is to be achieved by 2024 while the remaining 1,000 MWp are to be deployed in off grid regions.

In conclusion, despite the setbacks, Algeria possesses one of the best solar resources on the planet and as Africa’s largest country has abundant available land. Therefore, there should really be no obstacles as to what Algeria can achieve in this field.

UK policy updates

UK government throwing everything at COP26, says PM Johnson
Britain’s hosting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, is a priority for the government which is throwing everything at it, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday 24th March. “The COP26 summit is one of the single biggest priorities that any government could have domestically and internationally and it’s a massive job and we’re throwing everything at it,” Johnson told a parliamentary committee. The conference is scheduled to run from 1st to 12th November 2021 in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Read more

Algeria policy updates

New Electricity Law to be ready by end of 2021
The former Minister of Energy Abdelmadjid Attar has said that a new Electricity Law will be developed and finalised by the end of the current year. Attar stated his belief that the law should be reviewed in order to introduce competition, as was the case for the oil and gas sector’. He nonetheless confirmed that the State would retain its role as the sector’s regulator would continue to provide arbitration and oversight. According to Attar, the aim of the new law is to successfully achieve energy transition, accelerate the use of renewable energies, encourage investment and diversify the use of resources. Read more

New renewable energy company created
The Minister of Energy Transition and Renewable Energies, Chems Eddine Chitour, and the former Minister of Energy, Abdelmadjid Attar, have announced the launch of the process to create a new company dedicated to the development of renewable energies. The name and organisation of the new joint stock company ‘will be disclosed at a later date’. According to Chitour, the new company will be ‘Sonelgaz’s little sister’. Once the company’s creation is entirely complete, it will launch an invitation to tender before the end of the first half of the year, with the objective of creating 1,000 MW of renewable capacity before the end of 2021. The new company’s main mission is to implement the national program for renewable energy development, which aims to reach 15,000 MW of capacity by 2035, i.e. an average of 1,000 MW new capacity per year. Among other things, the new company will be tasked with acquiring and preparing land for renewable energy projects, conducting feasibility studies, studying the best financing mechanisms and coordinating between the various stakeholders involved in the projects. It will also be responsible for drawing up technical specifications and launching invitations to tender for investors, as well as processing bids and awarding contracts. Read more