Egypt seems to be an exact place for solar energy projects and this is exactly the case. Sun energy is abundant, precipitation and cloudiness is next to zero and the deserts are vast and empty. Will solar plants solve the problem of the power hungry industry and population? We have some doubts about it.
At a distance of 400 miles to the south from Cairo, in Western Desert, Benban complex will generate 1.8 gigawatt annually to the power grid. It is expected that the construction will be completed in one year and as soon as the power lines will be connected the flow will be enough to support one millions of Egyptian homes. The construction will be financed by the international institution and will cost 2.8 billions in USD.
To the comparison: Aswan High Dam is generating 10 gigawatt annually and was profitable since the third year of the construction. Contrary to popular belief the main part of the electrical bill is not fuel digested to generate power. It is financial services (i.e. credit fees) and the workforce cost of the supporting the whole structure – from the CEO to the simple plant worker.
The 2.8 billions in credit will be never paid off as the cost of the power generated is suitable only for the richest parts of society – the ones that have no problems reaching for the power grid at all.