Solar energy stations installed at 5 archaeological sites and museums in Egypt

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 20 Jan 2024

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA), the Industrial Modernization Centre, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt, has successfully installed solar energy stations at five world heritage sites and museums in Egypt.

Solar energy stations


This step marks a significant stride toward promoting sustainable tourism and preserving Egypt's rich heritage.

The five solar energy stations, located at the Giza Plateau’s Visitor Center, Mohamed Aly Palace in Manial, Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, and the National and Royal Jewelry Museums in Alexandria, boast a total capacity of 325 kW of photovoltaic systems generating 520 This is estimated to reduce approximately 295 tons/year of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The solar energy stations mark the completion of the Egypt PV flagship project, a pioneering initiative that opened the market for rooftop small-scale PV systems in Egypt.

Supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and later funded by the European Union through the UNDP project with the COP27 presidency, the project has engaged a diverse range of government and private sector stakeholders.

During a ceremony held in Mohamed Aly Palace in Manial, Vice Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs Ghada Shalaby asserted that the ministry is committed to ensuring sustainable growth while safeguarding Egypt’s precious monuments for future generations.

The ministry recognizes the increasing global demand for responsible tourism and has actively collaborated with all stakeholders and partners such as the UNDP and UNWTO to expand sustainable technologies and foster connections between the government and the private sector in the tourism industry.

“Preserving and protecting our heritage sites is of utmost importance to us. These sites are not only iconic symbols of Egypt's history but also serve as economic engines that generate significant revenue and employment opportunities. By implementing sustainable practices in these sites, we not only ensure their long-term survival but also guarantee a sustainable tourism industry that benefits both the local communities and visitors,” she said.

The implementation of solar power plants is part of a plan to further integrate solar energy across all Egyptian world heritage sites and museums. The implementation of solar power stations marks a strategic step towards fostering sustainability and green energy practices within Egypt's rich cultural heritage, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the SCA.

This falls within the framework of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities' strategy, represented by the SCA, to transform museums and archaeological sites into green locations relying on sustainable solar energy as an economically viable alternative to electricity. This aims to achieve Egypt's Sustainable Development Strategy for 2030.

"With the successful inauguration of solar power stations at Egypt's world heritage sites, we mark a pivotal milestone in the Egypt PV flagship project, funded by the Global Environment Facility,” said UNDP’s Resident Representative in Egypt Alessandro Fracassetti. He pointed out that this groundbreaking initiative not only opened markets for small-scale rooftop PV systems but paved the way for a sustainable future.

He also hoped the transformative impact of this project would inspire the replication of these efforts, providing green electricity to all historical sites in Egypt and showcasing the potential of partnerships and innovation in achieving renewable energy goals.

Egypt PV is a critical component of UNDP's overall contribution to Egypt's energy transition and aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13 as well as Egypt's Vision 2030. The project focused on promoting small-scale renewable energy systems and energy-efficient appliances to achieve national NDC targets and renewable energy goals.

Moamen Othman, head of the Museums Sector at the SCA, highlighted the SCA’s efforts and commitment to ensuring the sustainability of archaeological sites and museums under its jurisdiction through the installation of small-scale solar power stations at cultural heritage sites and museums.

"The list of targeted sites for solar energy implementation is divided into two phases, with the first phase including approximately 20 museums and archaeological sites and the second phase comprising around 6 museums and sites,” he pointed out.

On her part, Doaa Selima, executive director of the Industrial Modernization Centre, emphasized the centre's pivotal role in supporting the implementation of the newly inaugurated solar power stations.

Leveraging technical expertise gained through collaborative efforts with the Egypt PV project and UNDP funded by the GEF, the center extends its consultancy services to the industrial sector, facilitating the establishment of rooftop solar power stations as sustainable energy solutions, Selima explained.

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