A massive electricity network to connect electric grids throughout the Middle East and extend them in a massive infrastructure investment to a smart grid.
At a press conference in Cairo, MohieEddin said that the World Bank is considering a smart grid plan that would connect the eastern Arab states (Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia) with Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, and with the top of the Desertec region. This would link nations as far away as the Maghreb region (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania) and the Western Sahara to the Arab World.
Expanding the geographic range of any electric grid has significant energy saving benefits, because peak demand occurs at staggered intervals in the various regions.
For example, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are two countries that could benefit from borrowing power during their peak times when demand is between 3-4 GW.
Instead of Egypt and Saudi Arabia having to both build 4GW of energy to supply their own grid, the two countries could share that same peak power, in effect, both getting by on just 2GW and swapping the extra back and forth.
Expanding the size of the grid is also key to investments in renewable energy anywhere in the region. For example, when Morocco invests more in solar and Egypt in wind energy, it is easier to capitalize on these resources the larger the area the grid covers.
By funding the expansion to a wider region, as it has done with other grid investments, the World Bank is making it possible to greatly widen the impact of the new renewable power projects underway in the region.
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