Given its ideal location for soaking up the bountiful sun of the Sahara desert, it was only a matter of time before Algeria racked up plans to enter the solar market. Recent reports have claimed that the country is planning to build a solar module manufacturing plant as it aims to generate 5% of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2015.
Reports have hinted that the plant will open in 2012 and will have an annual capacity of 50MW of PV cells.
Primarily a producer of oil and gas, Algeria has revealed via the APS news agency that Sonelgaz, a state-owned utility, is looking to invest $100 million in the plant and will also begin a round of investment bids later this year.
It may be the case that this rumoured factory will be part of the Desertec project, although the Reuters report quoted Chakib Khelil, the Algerian Energy and Mines Minister, as saying: “We don’t want foreign companies exploiting solar energy from our land.”