Algeria: Energy Profile
|Energy Consumption||1.71 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||DZ|
|3-letter ISO code||DZA|
|Numeric ISO code||012|
|UN Region||Northern Africa|
|Energy Maps||0 view|
|Energy Organizations||3 view|
|Research Institutions||0 view|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
|Wind Potential||0||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||73||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||65.04||Million Short Tons||61||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||4,502,000,000,000||Cubic Meters (cu m)||10||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||13,420,000,000||Barrels (bbl)||16||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring Algeria
No Maps For This Location
The vast majority of the Algerian territory is a desert land with very few inhabitants and harsh conditions, but simultaneously abundant solar energy resources. It is estimated that an area of 1 million km2 has not been electrified yet and is technically very difficult, if not impossible, to be electrified by traditional means of extending transmission networks. It should be noted that there are areas that form autonomous power systems within Algeria.Algeria has over 140,000 miles of power lines, serving almost the entire population, over 98%. There are plans to increase the size of the network by 5% in coming years in order to reach isolated rural communities and hydrocarbon developments in the Sahara Desert.
Rural electrification by photovoltaics solar energyThe electrification of 18 villages which are far away from the existing electricity networks and primarily located in the provinces of the great south (Adrar, Illizi, Tindouf and Tamanrasset).This program is financed entirely by the Special Funds for Development of the South Areas from the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Sonelgaz have gone down the solar route for these 18 villages in the rural electrification programme with the aim of kick-starting the use of renewables, in particular photovoltaic energy.The Gas and Electricity Regulatory Commission (CREG) published a press release in 2011, which revealed that 22 GW of electricity would be generated by Algeria by 2030 from renewable energies. About 12 GW would be destined for the national market and 10 GW could be exported.It was announced that the national electricity generating program would comprise the completion of 67 projects; 27 being photovoltaic power stations, 27 hybrid diesel and gas turbine hybrids, six solar thermal power stations and seven wind farms. It was specified that Algeria would be investing some USD20 billion into domestic renewable energy projects, on its way to a goal of 40% of the nation's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.
In December 2011, Algeria's national power and gas utility SONELGAZ signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate with the European Desertec consortium that plans to harness solar energy and other renewables in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East.The MoU was signed by SONELGAZ chief executive Noureddine Boutarfa, Desertec Industrial Initiative CEO Paul Van Son, EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger, and Algerian energy and mining minister Youcef Youfsi.Boutarfa said "The development of renewable energy is a key strategy for Algeria. If the right conditions are met we are convinced that we can export 10 GW of solar power to Europe a year". Youfsi added that while solar was the most obvious renewable source for Algeria, the country was also developing other technologies., "With wind energy we have projects ready to start in the south and we have potential for geothermal where we are looking to get started in a very promising region in the east of the country."."I am convinced that with these joint efforts [with European partners] we can overcome the technological, economic and regulatory challenges that need to be addressed to develop these new sources of energy," Youfsi said.
Total installed electricity capacity (2009): 10,380 MWNatural Gas: 97%Oil: 2%Hydro-electric: ~1%Total primary energy supply (2009): 39,758 ktoeNatural Gas: 58.4%Hydro: 0.1%Oil and Products: 40.3%Coal: 1.1%Renewable & waste: 0.1%In 2008, Algeria was the world’s fourth-largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, delivering 10% of the gas consumed by Europe. One-sixth of total oil output is consumed at home, with the rest exported as crude, LPG or refined oil products. However, domestic energy consumption is on the rise, in 2008 demand for petrol increased 10%, and diesel 13% . Natural gas accounts for 60% of Algeria’s hydrocarbons consumption, with public distribution systems supplying gas to households.Despite significant renewable potential, notably high sunshine levels, the share of energy from renewables in Algeria is 0.3%, which is mainly hydropower.Algerian power production has reached 35 TWh, and is almost exclusively based on natural gas.
The CREG (Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas) is commissioned (art. 113) to watch over the competitive and transparency functioning of the electricity market for the users and operator’s interest. Its role is fundamental in the organisation and functioning of the electricity market, in general, and the renewable electricity, in particular. Article 128 of the law on electricity means operators have to lodge with the CREG sale and purchase contracts of electricity. This provision permits them to know the exact quantity and nature of the electricity sold in the market. For renewable electricity it is thus possible to know its origin: thermal, solar, wind, biomass or geothermal.
Algeria’s re-structuring electricity law was enacted in 2002. The state electricity and gas monopoly SONELGAZ was required to unbundle its activities and an independent regulatory body was established. Several projects of independent power producers (IPP), some with international equity participation, have emerged.SONELGAZ has been restructured as a holding company along with:Société Algérienne de Production de l’Electricité - (SPE)Opérateur Système Electrique - (OS)Société Algérienne du Gestion du Réseau de Transport de L'Electricité - (GRTE)Société Algérienne du Gestion du Réseau de Transport du Gaz - (GRTG)Société de Distribution de l'Electricité et du Gaz d’Alger - (SDA)Société de Distribution de l'Electricité et du Gaz du Centre - (SDC)Société de Distribution de l'Electricité et du Gaz de l’Est - (SDE)Société de Distribution de l'Electricité et du Gaz de l’Ouest - (SDO)
The Algerian Agency for the Promotion and Rationalisation of the Use of Energy (APRUE) expects energy consumption to increase by 81% between 2003 and 2020, an annual growth rate of about 3.5%. The demand for electricity will be particularly high due to urbanisation, an increasing standard of living and development of a service sector. The development of Algerian primary energy intensity is in line with its GDP. Between 1990 and 2006, only slight reductions of energy intensity, of 0.3-0.4, were achieved, mainly due to an expansion of the export-oriented hydrocarbon sector. Generating efficiency of the power sector was below 30% in 2006, whereas the world average was 34%. Algeria’s residential and service sector constitute the highest potential for Energy Efficency improvements. In the Algiers area, annual consumption of housing is 632 MJ/m2 with heating constituting the largest share (46%), followed by cooking (22%), hot water (13%) and electrical appliances (19%). There is significant potential to reduce residential consumption, e.g. by substituting traditional fuels with more efficient fuels, and more efficient appliances.IndustrySubsidies available for energy efficiency auditing and investments.Investments in energy efficiency and RE industry growth, including solar power plant construction.UtilitiesOptimisation of thermal processes, as well as the introduction of small CHP systems in generation infrastructure.TransportIntroduction of LPG and CNG systems in transport fleets, including public transport.Local energy planning for transport consumption (ELP).ResidentialEnergy efficient lighting distribution programme, as well as standards for air conditioning equipment, and the introduction of solar hot water systems.MED-ENEC and CNERIB programme to promote energy efficiency and use of solar energy in the construction sector (rural areas).High energy performance on new social housing. Thermal renovation in existing stock.PublicEstablishment of the National Energy Efficiency Fund, and the National Agency for the Promotion and Rationalisation of Energy Use.Setting up building energy performance displays, including lighting, cooling and heating.
Algeria is in urgent need of an adequate energy infrastructure so that it can achieve higher levels of economic development. This would allow all of its inhabitant’s access to a quality energy supply, irrespective of their place of residence.It is foreseeable that Algeria will lose its status as a natural gas exporter by the mid-2030s, if domestic consumption increases and no alternative energy solutions are implemented on a large scale. This scenario implies serious problems for Algeria, which is fiscally highly dependent on fossil fuel exports. A new approach to domestic energy supply is therefore necessary. Plans exist to expand the use of renewable and nuclear energy. Today, they play a marginal role for domestic electricity generation.
The Renewable Energy Development Centre (CDER http://www.cder.dz/) , Algiers)The Station d’ Expérimentation des Equipements Solaires (SEES) was transformed in 1988 to become the Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (CDER) with a wider remit covering all renewable energy sources. The main goal of CDER is the evaluation of renewable energy potential; including the development and application of solar thermal energy, solar photovoltaic energy, geothermal energy, wind energy and solar desalination in the remote area of the Sahara.New Energy Algeria (NEAL, http://www.neal-dz.net/)NEAL was established in 2002 by SONATRACH (45%), SONELGAZ (45%) and the private Algerian company SIM (10%). NEAL’s mission is the development of solar and other renewable energy production. NEAL has joined the International Energy Agency’s SolarPACES programme and incorporated renewable energy targets into national laws to help create a stable environment for long-term investors.The National Agency for Promotion and Rationalisation of Energy Use(APRUE, http://www.aprue.org.dz)The APRUE is central to the implementation of the National Energy Efficiency Programme (PNME). It is responsible for the information, communication and management training of all public players involved in energy efficiency. As well as the establishment of partnerships in order to draw up together transversal or sector action programmes, falling within the framework of the PNME, and which may potentially benefit from the financial incentives of the FNME.The National Energy Efficiency Fund of Algeria (FNME)The FNME was created in 2000 (Decree no. 2000-116), to finance energy efficency investments of the National Energy Efficiency Agency (APRUE) and its projects under the National Energy Efficiency Program (PNME). FNME’s annual budget is €57 million. The resources of the funds include taxes on natural gas (AD 0.00015/btu) and electricity (AD 0.02/kWh), and an initial government contribution of AD 100 million (€1.15 million). Additional resources may include taxes on energy intensive equipment, penalties, loan repayments, government, and other contributions.
Electricity marketThe Société Nationale de l'Electricité et du Gaz (SONELGAZ, www.sonelgaz.dz) is the state-owned electricity and downstream gas utility.Over 90% of the electricity production is based on natural gas, with the balance from fuel oil/diesel and hydropower. To keep up with demand growth, 8-10 GW of new power generating capacity are expected to be built by 2015, about 70% by independent power producers. Electricity tariffs are low in Algeria: around 6 US cents/kWh for residential customers, and circa 3 US cents/kWh for industrial users. This is due to low internal prices for natural gas: it is estimated that industrial enterprises and power producers pay below 1 USD/Mbtu, while current export prices are over 8 USD/Mbtu. The government’s objective is to adjust domestic energy prices to international levels, but this process is likely to be slow.Liquid fuels and gas marketThe National Popular Assembly approved the Hydrocarbons Law in March 2005 which removes the state monopoly in hydrocarbon exploration, production and transportation, and transforms the state-owned Société Nationale pour la Recherche, la Production, le Transport, la Transformation, et la Commercialisation des Hydrocarbures s.p.a. (SONATRACH, www.sonatrach-dz.com). The public powers and privileges vested in SONATRACH were transferred to two agencies: the Hydrocarbons Regulatory Agency and the National Agency for the Efficient Exploitation of Hydrocarbon Resources (Alnaft). Alnaft is responsible for awarding exploration and production contracts. Three contracts had been awarded by January 2010, to Total, the Portuguese firm Partex, and SONATRACH.
Degree of independence
CREG is the financially autonomous and independent regulatory authority. It is managed by a steering committee, comprised of a chairman and three directors appointed by presidential decree on proposition of the Minister in charge of Energy. An Advisory Council is instituted within the regulation commission. It is composed of two representatives of the relevant ministerial departments, and of all interested parties (operators, consumers, employees).
Algeria is a member of the Comité Maghrébin de l'Electricité (COMELEC, http://comelec-net.org/), which also includes Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Since its creation, COMELEC has played an important role in operating and strengthening the integrated electricity networks of Maghreb countries., maintaining strong ties with sister institutions such as EUROELECTRIC and the Union of Arab Electric Utilities. It participates in the activities of the Energy Laboratory of the Mediterranean (OME) and is also an active member of MEDELEC (the association of electric utilities of the Mediterranean countries).COMELEC’s role is significant in establishing a future electricity market between the countries of the Maghreb region and Europe, as well as with the countries of the Mashrek region. COMELEC also promotes the opening of the electricity market for private investment and competition in the sector.
The major text of the legislative purview concerning electricity production from renewable sources is the law 02-01 dated 5th February 2002, and relates to electricity and the distribution of gas through pipelines. This law fixed the legislative framework for electricity production in order to reform the Algerian electric system. These provisions apply to all the branches of production, including electricity from renewable sources. The quantities of energy to be sold on the market and the encouragement of the renewable sources, or cogeneration, should be subject to a call for tenders defined through statutory channels. This system would benefit renewable electricity production. This special system is clarified in the draft executive decree relative to the costs of diversification of the electricity production, which was adopted by the Council of government in January 2004.The market of renewable energy is very small. Currently the market of electricity that is largely defined by the Law on Electricity and Distribution of Gas No. 02-01. Having ambitious quantitative targets, the Algerian’s environmental friendly energy strategy has set up solar and wind projects generating 575MW by 2015, 1400MW by 2020 and 7500MW around 2030, though the trends are positive.One of the renewable energy development objectives made by the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) is to supply the isolated zones, which are far from the gas distribution networks (electricity and oil products), with energy services. Another objective is to contribute to the preservation of hydrocarbon reserves by the exploitation of the renewable energy resources, particularly solar power. The large exploitation of the solar field with the aim of producing electricity connected to the framework will contribute to satisfying national energy needs and will eventually be exported to European countries. This prospect fits with a sustainable development process which contributes to the preservation of the environment. Programmes have included different solar applications: rural electrification, photovoltaic pumping, water heating and other industrial applications. Algeria is committed to its National Rural Electrification Programme, which continues to provide solar power to villages in southern Algeria, following a successful first phase; the second phase is now underway.
Algeria has imported diesel for several years to help cope with rising domestic demand. The country has purchased about 100,000 tonnes of diesel oil per year since 2007, spending US$52 million annually to meet local growing demand. Total oil and petroleum product imports in 2007 were 914 ktoe. The entirety of Algeria's coal supply is also imported. Algeria has the capacity to export electricity to neighbouring Morocco and Tunisia.
Role of the government
Ministry of Energy and Mines of Algeria (MEM)The MEM (www.mem-algeria.org) develops the legislative, regulatory and institutional mechanisms to attract investment, both direct and through partnerships, in the hydrocarbon, energy and mining sectors. This includes activities such as those downstream of hydrocarbons and the production of renewable energies. Ministry of EnvironmentThe Ministry of Environment is connected to all the aspects of sustainable development and environmental protection policies, e.g. legislation of industrial emissions control and standards.
The Energy Efficiency Law (Loi relative a la Maitrise de l’Energie), July 1999The law encompasses the following components:Establishment of a national energy agency for energy efficency (EE).Introduction of EE standards.Introduction of a national programme for EE.Establishment of a national energy management fund.Mandatory labelling of every new or used electric appliance to be sold on the national territory.Monitoring EE.Mandatory energy audits.Support of research and development activities.Incentives for EE improvements.Measures to improve public awareness of the necessity to reduce energy consumption.The Law on Renewable Energy (Loi relative a la promotion des energies renouvelables dans le dare du developpement durable), August 2004The law establishes a National Programme for the promotion of Renewable Energy (RE), until 2020. The programme includes a multi-annual evaluation of the use of RE compared to fossil fuels, and several measures to inform the public about RE. It is integrated into a framework for sustainable development and land-use planning, and comprises mechanisms for the economic assessment of energy technologies. In 2004, incentives for RE were specified through a Decree on the Diversification of Power Generating Costs, which introduced feed-in tariffs for power from renewable sources. Renewable energy technologies covered include hydropower, wind power, geothermal and solar power and electricity from waste utilisation. As the government considers the combined utilisation of solar energy and natural gas the most efficient way to make use of RE, the decree creates specific feed-in tariffs for Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC) power plants. The feed-in tariffs are based on the regular rates for electricity, which are set by CREG. Feed-in tariffs for ISCC plants differ by the share of solar energy used by the plant. Algeria’s renewable electricity goals are set out as percentage values of overall power generation. For 2017, the Algerian electricity regulatory commission (CREG, 2008) published a 5% renewable electricity target. By 2030, Algeria expects to reach 20% renewables; 70% generated by concentrating solar power plants, 20% by wind and 10% by photovoltaics. The first 25 MW solar power project at Hassi R’mel is under implementation and three new projects are under consideration. Through a March 2004 decree, the government also introduced incentives for electricity production from renewable energy plants, including a feed-in tariff.
The legislative framework suggests that Algeria’s renewable energy policy is very advanced compared to other developing countries. The government has translated international examples of best practice into the Algerian policy framework in order to promote renewable power generation, such as the German feed-in law for renewable energy, However, so far, the implementation of the adopted regulations is limited, which is why it remains to be seen if they can significantly increase the share of renewable energy in Algeria’s energy supply.
The Algerian Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission (CREG, www.creg.gov.dz) was established under the law n° 02-01 of 5 February 2002 relating to electricity and gas distribution, although it started its activities in 2005.
The geographic location of Algeria means it has the potential to play an important strategic role in the implementation of renewable energy technology in the north of Africa, providing sufficient energy for its own needs and even exporting it to countries as far as Europe. A report by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) suggests countries such as Algeria could one day export solar energy to markets in Europe, as it becomes connected to European energy networks. The report also says that within 20 years solar power could provide the same amount of electricity as 72 coal-fired power stations. This is enough to supply 100 million people, or the combined populations of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.Solar energyThe Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) states that “the biggest potential in Algeria is for solar”, with data from the World Energy Council confirming the Sahara region to have the most potential. Annual average insolation is 2,000 hours with the high plateaus receiving about 3,900 hours. This gives an average solar energy of 6.57 kWh/m2/day.The development of solar energy plants is supported by the MEM and realised mainly by Sonelgaz and other private installer companies. The solar energy is regarded as an important line of research within the structure of the department of renewable energies of Sonelgaz.Wind energyWind energy is feasible where the average wind velocity is higher than 5–6 m/s. Algeria has substantial plans to develop their wind energy potential. Studies of indigenous wind resources in Algeria, performed in recent years by the Algerian Centre for Renewable Energy Development (CDER, http://www.cder.dz/) , show that the climatic conditions in Algeria are favourable for wind energy utilisation. The wind map established by the MEM shows that 50% of the country’s surface receives a high average wind speed. The best wind energy potential is in the South, especially in the South-Western region where the wind velocity is higher than 6m/s.The wind resource has also been assessed by the developer, Sonelgaz, and at present, there are six pilot projects for electrification and telecommunication which are identified and quantified. These are Adrar, Tindouf, bordj Badji Mokhtar, Bechar, Tamanrassat and Djanet. The installation, by Sonelgaz, of nine assessment stations in different regions of Algeria is the next step in accelerating the use of wind power.Biomass energyThe biomass potentially offers great promise, with 3.7 Mtoe coming from forests and 1.33 Mtoe per year coming from agricultural and urban wastes (approximately 365 kg of urban waste per Algerian); however this potential is not enhanced and consumed yet. A preliminary survey showed the feasibility of production of electricity by modals of 2MW, that can reach a peak of 6MW, from the discharge of Oued Smar in Algiers. The study integrates the drainage of the site.Geothermal energyGeothermic energy hot springs are numerous but not yet exploited for industrial ends. More than 200 geothermal sources were counted and recorded by CDER, one third of which have temperatures superior to 45˚C. The highest temperatures registered were 98˚C and 118˚C in Hamam El Maskhoutin and Biskra, respectively, situated in the western part of the country. In terms of power production, geothermal potential is in range of 700 MW.HydropowerRestricted rainfall, high levels of evaporation and quick evacuation to the sea are barriers to the uptake of hydropower. However, 103 dam sites have been recorded, primarily in the North. More than 50 dams are currently operational and the combined capacity of the largest 13 dams is roughly 269 MW.
- Algeria-Clean Technology Fund (CTF)
- Algeria-NREL Energy Activities
- National Action Programmes on Desertification
- MENA-GTZ EERE Regional Center
- Algeria-IAEA Energy Planning
- view all
3 Energy Organizations