Salah Khebri, Minister of Energy, on alternative energy and strategies for growth: Viewpoint

Salah Khebri, Minister of Energy

We are in an international environment marked by political and economic developments that directly impact the energy sector. We have all been faced with a significant drop in income from hydrocarbons exports. This situation is also occurring in a national economic context marked by the growth of social demands. This shows how important the resulting challenges are for the energy sector. Nevertheless, to us these challenges seem surmountable given the natural and human resources we possess. Through the joint efforts of all and the contribution of each of our stakeholders, we will meet these challenges in the best interest of our country.

The energy sector plays an important role in the national economy, in satisfying the country’s energy needs and in bolstering export earnings. In terms of meeting domestic needs, the sector has now provided access to energy for all Algerians.

This performance was achieved with the electrification of nearly all of the country, a level of connection to natural gas that is among the highest in the world and the provision of other forms of energy throughout the country at prices that are very affordable for every citizen.

For exports, the sector now has an adequate infrastructure and capacity, allowing Algeria to maintain its role as a key player in major international markets for natural gas. But these achievements themselves also raise challenges related to sustainability efforts and investments. It is important not only to strengthen all of our energy infrastructure but also to mobilise the full potential of the various energy resources in the country in a coherent manner.

It is also necessary to underscore the importance of improving energy savings in order to ensure coverage of the constantly growing needs over the long term and to allow the sector to continue to help finance the development of our country in the context of a transition towards a more diverse economy.

Energy is such a sensitive sector for the present and the future of Algeria. As such, we are continuously evaluating our work to bolster and strengthen the areas where we have seen the best results so that we can quickly make adjustments and necessary improvements in other areas. The objective is the development of a coherent energy sector throughout its various branches, working in collaboration with the remaining sectors of the national economy. Thus, in terms of hydrocarbon resources, the sector has been largely successful over the past 25 years but there are still some results that are below our expectations. It is therefore important to analyse the causes and make the appropriate responses for the optimal mobilisation of our national potential.

The energy future of the country will be marked by the growing role of renewable energy, particularly solar, in the national electricity mix. Our goals in this field will be reinforced by the development of a national industry of equipment, goods and services used in the production of alternative energy. This will allow us to move forward in the country’s energy transition and to follow the evolution of technological development at the global level. Similarly, we need to mobilise the country’s enormous energy potential, notably by reducing consumption of larger users as well as in those sectors that are not clear and effective generators of national wealth.

Any success, regardless of the strategy, cannot be achieved without qualified human capital if we are to guarantee sustained development in the sector. That is why we consider the development of our human resources as our first priority, given that qualified human capital constitutes our only inexhaustible source for creating wealth. We also pay particular attention to managers and hope to enable them to work with confidence under the law, so that they can take all of the initiatives and decisions required for effective management of their individual businesses.

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Salah Khebri

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The Report: Algeria 2015

Energy chapter from The Report: Algeria 2015

The Report: Algeria 2015

The Report

This article is from the Energy chapter of The Report: Algeria 2015. Explore other chapters from this report.