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

National Economy

The African country of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria  is bordered by Tunisia, Libya, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, and the Mediterranean Sea. The population of Algeria  is approximately 46.09 million people[1].

In 2022, Algeria’s economy was ranked 53rd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[3] of natural gas, crude oil, refined petroleum, nitrogenous fertilizers, and ammonia.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Algeria signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], 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. In 2021, Sonelgaz implemented a program to increase the nation’s total solar capacity to 15,000 MW by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, 99.8 % of the people in Algeria had  access to electricity[5]. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Société Nationale de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Sonelgaz) used natural gas (97.1%), oil (1.7%), and renewable energy (1.2%) 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:

  • 2,000 MW Solar Tender – In February 2023, Sonelgaz issued a tender for the development and construction of 15 solar projects which will have a total capacity of 2,000 MW. All bids must be submitted by May 29, 2023.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – Italian energy company Eni and Algerian energy company, Sonatrach are continuing 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.
  • Rooftop Solar Program – Algeria’s Ministry of Energy Transition and Renewable Energy with the Ministry of Religious Endowments are continuing with a solar photovoltaic installation program for mosques and Quranic institutions across the country.


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 2021, Algeria exported[10] U.S. $14.3 Billion in natural gas, U.S. $10.7 Billion in crude oil, and U.S. $6.23 Billion in refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

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]”. Algeria responded to Europe’s energy crisis by increasing natural gas exports by pipeline and liquified natural gas tanker shipments.

Algeria has vast renewable energy resource potential including solar, onshore wind, geothermal, offshore wind, and biomass. Algeria is now using oil and natural gas exports to develop major renewable energy projects across the country. Algeria’s future may be as a green energy supplier to the EU instead of just 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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.


[1] Algeria Population (2023) – May 6, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

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

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

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

[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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