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SOLAR PANELS: How Does Life Shine In The Oases Of Egypt?

For generations, families in the remote villages in western desert of Egypt, have made bread, a tradition they both respect and revere. Over the years new trends have arisen of these villagers processing and preserving bread in different ways including having to keep it in refrigerators to stay fresh longer.

But most youths there know very little about living in villages without electricity, bakeries, green gardens and plantations.

At most, they remember how Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority has been providing solar energy to their villages, an off-grid energy initiative, started in 2015 to improve socio-economic wellbeing.

These distant villages and towns of Juzur Abu Minqar, Farafra, and Siwa oases are powered by solar energy generated by eight private small-scale power stations, with capacity ranging from half a megawatt to 10 megawatts.

The initiative aims to enable about 167,000 people living in these 264 villages, communities, and cities in the nine governorates of North and South Sinai, Red Sea, Sohag, New Valley, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, and Marsa Mature get stable power supply for improvement of livelihoods. The government is working on this initiative in partnership with private developers including Canal, South Cairo, El Beheira, Middle Egypt, Upper Egypt, and respective governorates.

Dr. Mohamed Alkhayat

The chairman of New and Renewable Energy Authority

This multimedia story investigates how the introduction of solar energy into the Egytian desert, changed Juzur Abu Minqar, Farafra, and Siwa oases from dry and unhabitable zones to a green paradise and how life changed with it.


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