PROMOTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES IN ALGERIA FOR A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND BETTER FUTURE FOR NEXT
PROMOTION DES ENERGIES RENOUVELABLES EN ALGERIE POUR UN DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE ET UN MEILLEUR AVENIR
POUR LES FUTURES GENERATIONS
Abdelkrim Ainouche, Sonatrach – TRC – In Amenas - Algeria
Hakim Ainouche, Sonatrach – TRC – Sidi Arcine - Algeria
The global demand for energy and more specifically clean energy is growing rapidly. There is a universal need for efficient technologies that will contribute to the sustainable development of the host countries and communities by providing
employment, improving quality of life and protecting the environment. This energy solution must pass obligatory by the development of new clean, nonpolluting and non dangerous sources of energy for the environment and must necessarily guarantee
sustainability on a human scale contrary to the current energy solutions.
Renewable energies are without danger to health and without pollution for the
environment. Increasing the global share of renewable energy would not only bring environmental benefits, but also enhance overall energy security by diversifying energy supply.
The renewable energies are clean, are used where they are and their decentralized character is well appropriate at the scattered state of the areas with low density of population. They can contribute to the environment protection and be regarded as a future alternative to conventional energies, particularly in the rural world which constitutes a potential market because of the prohibitive cost of the routing by cable of electricity.
The international community recognizes the vital importance of renewable energies, beside the energy effectiveness and of the conservation of energy, not only to fight against the health and the environment degradation and to ensure a sustainable
development in conformity with the international objectives relating to the climate, but also to contribute to the innovation as well as the regional and national development.
The renewable sources of energy are converted into useful energy while:
? contributing to the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions ;
? providing opportunities for poverty eradication;
? limiting the risks and the pollution of the planet;
? decreasing our energy dependence while not depriving of access to energy
the present and future generations;
? enhancing energy security;
? reinforcing the local economy by the development of small and medium-sized
? creating export opportunities of electricity;
The actual total cost of renewable energy remains high compared to fossil fuels, although it continues to fall. Increasing the global share of renewable energy would not only bring environmental benefits, but also enhance overall energy security by diversifying energy supply.
Algeria has not only the world’s most extensive gas reserves, but also huge renewable energy resources especially solar and wind power. Algeria plans to increase the share of renewable energy in its total supply to 5 per cent by 2010. To achieve this, Algeria has developed its own national strategy for renewable energies. The objective is to ensure the changing of hydrocarbons and a sustainable development without danger to health and without pollution for the environment.
Why a law on Renewable Energies and the Sustainable Development in Algeria today? Exposed reasons
The search for an energy solution sustainable and compatible with the environment is posted today among the priorities in the programs of the United Nations for the development and the environment.
This energy solution must pass obligatorily by the development of new clean, non-polluting and non dangerous sources of energy for the environment and must necessarily guarantee durability on a human scale contrary to the current energy solutions.
Today more than ever, the development remains completely tributary no matter what one says and on a very large scale of energy: it was always thus and it will be still more in the future, even if current technology ensures a better effectiveness, excellent outputs and a much better reliability.
The question of energy, climatic changes and the sustainable development takes a large importance in our programs of development in Algeria.
Promoting renewable energies is now one of the major pillars of the Algerian energy and environment policy. Every single renewable energy chain has been closely studied, taking into account its development potential, the type of energy needs and our own resources (hydrocarbons, solar and wind energy).
Algeria has set up a national programme for the promotion of renewable energy sources in the frame of its sustainable energy development plan for 2020. The first target is to increase electricity production by the renewable energies to 5% of the total production by 2010.
Three principal reasons plead in favour of renewable energies development in
? they constitute a solution economically viable to provide energy services to the
rural isolated populations in particular in the Great South areas, ? they allow a sustainable development because of their inexhaustible character,
and of their limited impact on the environment and contribute to the
safeguarding of our fossil resources,
? the monetisation of these energy resources can have only positive
repercussions as regards of regional balance and creation of jobs.
Algeria has decidedly chosen sustainable development as its energy strategy, the
legal and regulatory framework adopted during the past years underscores our strong
commitment. I can quote between others:
? The law relative to the electricity and to the public distribution of gas,
promulgated in February 2002, liberalized the sector of electricity by opening
to competition the production and the marketing of electricity.
This law which takes in account the protection of the environment envisages the
integration of renewable energies in the energy mix of the country. It opened in other
hand side, the way to the promulgation of other inciting measures in favour of
renewable energies. Advantageous premiums are granted to the producers of
electricity produced from renewable sources. The purpose of the promulgation of this
law is the implementation of a national policy of control of the energy based on the
rational use of energy, the development of renewable energies and the reduction of
the negative effects of the energy system on the environment.
? A decree, on diversification of electricity production costs was enacted the
th of March 2004.
The incentive premiums of this decree shall attract private investors to implement
integrated solar combined cycle plants in Algeria.
? Another law, the law on renewable energies within the framework of the
sustainable development promulgated in August 2004, makes possible to
institute economic incentives founded on the environmental benefit of the
electricity produced from renewable sources.
This law will constitute a basis for lawful instruments aiming at the encouragement of
the development of renewable energies in their environmental and ecological
The national power consumption will grow obviously, like that of all the countries in
the process of development and certainly much more strongly than it is thought,
taking account of the most recent forecasts on our economic growth and especially industrial which are specified at the horizon.
Restraint measures of greenhouse effect gases resulting mainly from combustion of fossil fuels were decided since the Rio Summit of Earth in 1992 and were followed by other rigorous measures decided in Kyoto in 1997 straightforwardly to impose on the international community the penetration of Renewable Energies in a progressive and interdependent way.
In accordance with the national energy policy and pursuant to the present decree on Renewable Energies, the Commission of regulation of electricity and gas will adopt each year the quotas of production of electricity starting from Renewable Energies for each producer of electricity.
The producers not respecting the provisions fixed by the commission will have to discharge penalty.
The penalty will be equivalent to 250% of the electricity price worked out by the operator of the market.
In compensation of the electricity production over cost produced from Renewable Energies, it is allotted to the producers of electricity from RE a subsidy for each kWh yielded to the network.
The electricity produced from installations using thermal solar, will profit from a subsidy of 200% of the price, by kWh of electricity, by taking account of a minimal contribution of solar energy of 30% of the whole of the primary energies.
For the installations whose contribution of fossil energies exceeds 70 %, the subsidy will be reduced by 25% per fossil section of 5% of energy which could not exceed 90%.
The electricity produced from installations of waste valorisation, will profit from a subsidy of 120% of the price, by kWh of electricity produced. That produced from the wind or hydraulic power, will profit from a subsidy of 100% of the price per kWh That produced from radiant solar energy will profit from a subsidy of 300% per kWh of electricity. The electricity produced from cogeneration installations, will profit from a subsidy per kWh of 100% by taking account of a thermal energy production usable of 20% of the whole of the primary energies used.
Algeria also owns an institution able to promote the use of the renewable energy sources within the framework of activities of the diversification of our energy source. To develop renewable energies projects, Algeria created the company New Energy Algeria (NEAL).
New Energy Algeria
Neal is a company created between Sonatrach, Sonelgaz and private company (SIM)
in July 2002 having as object the :
? promotion and the development of new and renewable energies;
? identification and the realization of projects related to these energies;
? definition, development and the implementation of development strategies,
? organisation of industrial and commertcial activities.
The objectives which were assigned to it were, in particular the:
- use of new and renewable energies,
- contribution to the production of electricity from solar and wind,
- marketing of the electricity produced this way as well on the local
market as to export,
- promotion of photovoltaic, in particular in the south of the country,
- search of partners for the investment and the exploitation of new and
- constitution of a research pole for the solar with the research and/or
Development potential of renewable energy
Beyond its hydrocarbon resources, Algeria has a high potential of renewable energy
which it has the ambition to develop with foreign partners. The development of these
potential, in particular huge reserves of solar energy would have several positive
consequences for Algeria, its partners and the world community in general.
The promotion of the electricity produced starting from the renewable energy sources
is in the forefront of the priorities of Algeria for reasons of energy supply
diversification, for reasons of environmental protection and for reasons related to
economic and social cohesion.
? Wind Energy
The kinetic energy of wind is a promising source of renewable energy with significant
potential in Algeria. However, the energy that can be captured by wind turbines is
highly dependent on the local average wind speed.
With regard to Algeria, the wind resource varies much from a place to another. This is
mainly due to a very diversified topography and climate. A preliminary study of the
seasonal and annual evolution mean velocity of the wind (figure1), made possible to
make a first identification of the windy areas of Algeria.
Figure 1 “Estimation of the wind resources”
This representation of speed in the form of chart has two objectives: first is to identify
the wide areas with good promises of exploitation of the wind power. Second is to
highlight the relative variation of the resources through Algeria.
Knowing the problems encountered for the electric power transport in the far areas as
well as its high cost. It would be interesting to consider the application of conversion
systems of the wind power for isolated areas having an appreciable wind potential.
The South-west region shows all the characteristics of sites candidate to the
exploitation of this energy.
? Solar energy
Fortunately, its solar power capacity is one of the largest on earth. More than
22 receives yearly a sunshine exposure equivalent to 2500 KWh/m.
The sunshine duration on the whole national territory exceeds the 3000 hours
annually (table1) and even reaches 3900 hours on the high plateaus and the Sahara.
Regions Sahara Coastal High
Surface (%) 4 10 86
Average sunshine duration 2650 3000 3500 (Hours/year)
Received average energy
(Kwh/m1700 1900 2650 2/year)
Table 1: Solar potential in Algeria
There are several ongoing electrification projects in rural areas using solar energy as a
supplement to classical power grid. Photovoltaic systems are also successfully used
for water pumping for the development of steppe areas. Another program for Saharan
areas electrification using photovoltaic systems is carried out for the benefit of remote
southern populations. These programs of solar energy supply give to the population of far villages a first access to information and communication since provided electricity makes possible to ensure various services. The exploitation of this solar potential enables us to complete our program for rural electrification; today 95% of the country is covered by the domestic grid. Remote areas, far away from the power grid can only benefit from electricity supplied by an adequate use of renewable energy. As the major solar field in Algeria is located in hydrocarbon regions endowed with natural gas, our strategic goal is to create a mixed solar-gas synergy, taking advantage of our abundant natural gas and solar resources. Coupled with renewable energies the natural gas is an energy resource of choice for the development of Algeria and offers the type itself of structuring vector for our integration to the world economy. Independently of the units of solar energy intended to feed the remote centres, projects of renewable energies connected to the national grid are in course of development. Algeria strategy consists in carrying out a synergy between the Solar one and the natural gas thanks to hybrid solar gas projects by profiting from the Algerian natural gas endowment and to the permanent sun shining of the South of the country.
A first gas-solar hybrid project, of large capacity, is under development. The project will enhance the solar energy share in the global energy balance, increased renewable electricity connected to the national distribution grid. The NEAL Company is in charge of the development of this project.
The Hassi R' mel gas-solar hybrid power station will be built for 130 MW of gas and 25 2. The project will be established on a plate of ground of MW of thermal solar energy with the parabola system of the giant mirrors on a surface 130 ha. It will lay out of 250 solar collectors 150 meters length and 5 meters in of approximately 180 000 mdiameter each one. The solar field is 90 ha. The production which will result from this power station will come from approximately 130 MW produced from gas turbines and 25 MW produced from the solar field.
The Algeria sees ideal opportunities of combining Algeria’s richest fossil energy source – the natural gas – with Algeria’s most abundant renewable energy
source – the sun – by integrating concentrating solar power into natural gas combined
The development of solar energy could save significant quantities of hydrocarbons and particularly of natural gas, which could be exported towards Europe and the United States. The positive implications are double: Firstly, the reduction of burned fossil fuels will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, while contributing to improve the energy supply of our partners.
There is no doubt that the available energies won’t disappear soon, nevertheless the
era of abundance and cheap energy will not last long. We will have to consider alternate sources of energy. It is clear that renewable energy is linked to environmental issues. This is the reason why the quest for unlimited and clean renewable energies should become the priority.
Conscious of the need to face its environmental problems and anxious to take part in
the fight against the climatic change, Algeria has the concern of the sustainable
development and implements from her side, the strategies and measures in this way.
Algeria has definitely decided to pursue an active role within the global mobilisation for
environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable development.
Algeria is endowed with significant resources of renewable energies and particularily
solar and wind energies, for which the country has several sites among the most
promising in world.
The Algerian energy strategy major concerns and priorities have always been the
important link between energy management, environment and sustainable
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