Algeria to Resuscitate Large-Scale Solar Plans

Algeria to Resuscitate Large-Scale Solar Plans
Mouloud Bakli, Managing Director of Tell Group (Tell Group)

Algeria - The Algerian government is looking at resuscitating its large-scale solar plans by restarting the 4 GW solar tender which was first announced in March 2017. This was recently revealed by Mouloud Bakli who is the president of Algerian solar energy association, Club Energia, and managing director of Tell Group.

Algeria’s large-scale solar plans are for 13.6 GW of PV which will form part of a planned 22 GW of renewable energy power generation capacity by 2030.

Bakli was quoted by PV Magazine saying, “Although it is difficult and risky to provide a timeframe, several communications from the government suggest that a lot of progress has been already made, while there are still only a few issues related to the financing aspects and how to integrate local content while maintaining a competitive LCoE.”

The Algerian government is still to publish the 4 GW solar tender and has not yet indicated when that will be.

However, industry insiders think the tender will have provisions for local companies from the emerging Algerian PV sector to have a major role in the implementation of the tender.

“There is now a solid solar manufacturing industry base under development in Algeria. We estimate that around 550 MW of solar module assembly capacity will be operational in the country by the end of this year. Furthermore, there are already several manufacturers of various parts of the supply chain, like junction boxes, mounting structures and cables, PV Glass, aluminium frames, which are able to provide a wide range of high quality products,” Bakli further told PV Magazine.

“The plan of Algeria is to put in place a process where the selected IPP’s in future tenders will have work with local industry to make it bankable and competitive,” Bakli added.

Bakli conceded that locally manufactured PV components may increase the costs of the planned solar projects but with a negligible margin.

“Thanks to an excellent engineering of raw materials, as well as high-quality standards, several players have already demonstrated that projects will be just a bit more expensive than projects only relying on imported modules and components,” he explained.

Algeria recently created a new Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energies in mid-2017 and this was immediately followed by two tenders for off-grid projects being announced. And the 4 GW solar tender is only one of several projects the Algerian government is planning to launch over the next few years.

Bakli hopes that the 4 GW solar tender will enable the Algerian PV industry to have a chance of proving itself as reliable.

At the same time, the Algerian state-owned power and gas provider, Sonelgaz, is also expected to announce a 50 MW EPC tender for off-grid hybrid gas/diesel and solar projects soon. This one of a number of planned projects with a combined capacity of between 200 MW and 300 MW over the next few years. And the projects are expected to hugely reduce power prices in non-interconnected areas.

“Currently, power is produced in these areas at around 25 DZD (US$0.20) per kWh. We believe, however, that solar may reduce this price to the range of 10 DZD (0.08$) per kWh,” Bakli says.