Egyptian policy makers see renewable energy as a way to improve energy security, while retaining foreign exchange earnings from gas exports to keep the rentier structure of the economy.
The discovery of the Zohr gas field in 2015, located 150 kilometers off the Egyptian coast in the Southern Mediterranean Sea, with 850 billion cubic meters of gas, brought fundamental changes in the country’s energy policy as well as its regional diplomacy. In December 2017, the Zohr gas field commenced production, turning Egypt into a net exporter of natural gas with a processing capacity exceeding 2.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2018. Hydrocarbon production is the country's largest industrial field, accounting for 24% of total GDP in 2019-2020. Egypt is currently Africa's leading non-OPEC oil producer, as well as the continent's third-largest natural gas producer, after Algeria and Nigeria.