CAIRO, Egypt - The solar thermal power industry could
be worth 16.4 billion Euros and create 54,000 jobs worldwide by 2025,
according to a report launched today in Egypt by Greenpeace, the
European Solar Thermal Power Industry Association (ESTIA) and IEA
The report, "Concentrated Solar Thermal Power - Now", is a practical
blueprint, which proves that in two decades solar thermal power could
supply clean electricity to more than 100 million people living in the
sunniest parts of the world (1). Greenpeace and ESTIA are encouraging
politicians and policymakers to support this new sustainable industry by
taking the necessary steps laid out in the report, which provides a
detailed action plan for Governments who want to invest in this new
technology. It also illustrates how the Middle East and North Africa
could become the main centre for solar power with the potential of also
exporting electricity to Europe (2).
Egypt is one of the few countries in the world that has a Government
department dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources.
Under the direction of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (part of
the Ministry of Energy) one of the first solar thermal power plants
built since the 1980s will come on line in 2007 at El Koraimat near Cairo.
"Egypt is leading the world in exploiting this technology and
demonstrating the solar potential of sunbelt regions. In the
Mediterranean solar thermal power generation offers the same potential
as the Wind power generation in other areas," said Sven Teske,
Greenpeace International Renewable Energy Campaigner. "This plant
demonstrates the potential benefits of solar power not only for
climate-friendly power generation but for the development of truly
In only two decades, the electricity generated from solar thermal power
plants could be equivalent to the power generated by 72 coal-fired power
stations, supplying enough electricity each year for Israel, Morocco,
Algeria and Tunisia combined or half the electricity demand of
Australia. By 2040, the global demand for electricity is expected to
double; 5% of which could be delivered by solar thermal power plants.
On November 7 and 8, the Chinese Government will host the Beijing
Renewable Energy Conference 2005, where delegates will discuss the
implementation of renewable energy target agreements made in 2002 at the
World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.
The report outlines that given the right market conditions, the use of
solar thermal power technology would cut CO2 emissions by 362 million
tonnes by 2025 making an important contribution to international climate
protection targets (3).
"The aim of the blueprint is to have solar thermal power plants
implemented in the energy sector within the next couple of years," said
Dr. Michael Geyer, Executive Secretary from IEA SolarPaces. "Solar
thermal power does not need to be invented, it is ready for global
implementation today, especially in countries like Spain, the United
States, Egypt, Israel, Algeria, South Africa, Mexico Australia and
India. Each could have more than 500 MW of solar thermal projects by 2020."
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses
non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental
problems, and to force the solutions, which are essential to a green and
Notes to Editor
(1). Solar thermal power is heat energy obtained by exposing a
collection device to the rays of the sun. A solar thermal system makes
use of the warmth absorbed by the collector to heat water or another
working fluid, or to make steam. Hot water is used in home or commercial
buildings and for industrial processes. Steam is used for process heat
or for operating a turbine generator to produce electricity or
(2) The annual direct solar irradiance in the southern European Union,
Middle East and North African regions is huge: The primary energy
received by each square metre of land equals 1-2 barrels (1 barrel
measuring 159 litres) of oil per year.
(3) From a current level of just 354 MW, by 2015 the total installed
capacity of solar thermal power plants will have passed 6000 MW,
according to the Greenpeace/ ESTIA/ SolarPaces projections. By 2025,
additional capacity would be rising at a level of almost 5000 MW each
year and the total installed capacity of solar thermal power around the
world will have reached 36,800 MW.