Will Algeria’s Future Be A Green Energy Supplier To Europe?

National Economy

The population of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria  is approximately 45.73 million people[1]. In 2020, 99.8 % of the people in this North African country  had  access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Algeria’s economy was ranked 53rd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of natural gas, crude oil, refined petroleum, nitrogenous fertilizers, and ammonia.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Algeria signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to 7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to a business as usual scenario.

In 2020, Algeria’s state-owned utility Sonelgaz had a total solar capacity of only 390 MW. Sonelgaz intends to increase the nation’s total solar capacity to 15,000 MW by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, the state-owned utility, Société Nationale de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Sonelgaz) used natural gas (97.1%), oil (1.9%), and renewable energy (1.0%) to generate electricity in Algeria[6]. Solar is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Algeria.

Recent renewable energy projects in Algeria include:

  • 1,000 MW Solar Tender – In April 2022, the Algerian Renewable Energy Company completed a tender for solar projects with a total capacity of 1,000 MW. All bids are currently being evaluated.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, Italian energy company Eni and Algerian energy company, Sonatrach commenced work on a solar project at a site approximately 450 miles southeast of the nation’s capital, Algiers. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, Eni and Sonatrach announced plans to develop a solar project at a site approximately 400 miles south-southeast of Algiers. Construction is forecast to begin in 2023.
  • Rooftop Solar Program – In March 2022, Algeria’s Ministry of Energy Transition and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Religious Endowments initiated a program to install solar photovoltaic systems on the roofs of mosques and Quranic institutions across the country.

Conclusions

Commercial oil was first discovered in Algeria in 1956[7]. In 2021, Algeria was the 7th largest natural gas[8]and 19th largest crude oil[9]exporting country in the world.

Exports of natural gas, crude oil, and refined petroleum are the cornerstone of Algeria’s economy. In 2020, Algeria exported[10] U.S. $7 Billion in natural gas, U.S. $6.26 Billion in crude oil, and U.S. $3.58 Million in refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United States, Canada, and Japan to place embargos on Russian exports. On June 17, 2022, Russian energy company, Gazprom dramatically reduced the flow of natural gas exports to France, Italy and Slovakia due to “technical problems[11]”.

The European Union is now faced with potential natural gas supply shortages with the onset of winter. Algeria is now increasing natural gas exports to Italy and Spain by pipelines and to other EU countries by tanker (liquified natural gas).

Algeria has vast renewable energy resource potential including solar, onshore wind, geothermal, offshore wind, and biomass. Algeria has become a critical supplier of natural gas and oil to the EU. Will Algeria’s future be a green energy supplier to the EU instead of fossil fuels?

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Algeria Population (2022) –  November 18, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] Access To Electricity (% Population), The World Bank Group – Algeria

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Algeria

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Algeria: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – Algeria

[8] Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[9] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[10] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Algeria Exports

[11] AP, “Russia Again Cuts Natural Gas Exports To European Countries” by Karel Janicek, June 17, 2022

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