Reports & News

Tue - 06 Aug 2019 - 11:02 AM ،،،

KUNA


 The demand for solar energy has been on the rise in Yemen especially after various areas were cut off from the national power grid since mid-2015 due to the war.

Solar energy is heavily used in the housing sector and others domains especially with petroleum-based products being very hard to acquire and expensive.

The national power-grid provides around 1,500 megawatts, which only covers 40 percent of the population with city dwellers getting 85 percent of power, while the number drops drastically for rural areas, which gains only 23 percent.

According to a May 2017 report by the Cairo-based Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, 75 percent of Yemeni families in the city and 50 percent rural areas use solar energy.

In this regard, Minister of Electricity and Energy Mohammad Al-Anani said that there was an increase in the use of electro-solar systems in Yemen, adding that devices produced around 400 megawatts mostly utilized in houses for power.

Between 2016 and 2018, the solar energy market saw a boom in exports and imports with USD 1.5 billion invested in this sector, he revealed.

He added that this boom was mainly occurring in Houthi militia-controlled areas with 80 percent.

Al-Anani said that most what is available in the market was of bad quality with the devices' batteries lasting a mere 16 months.

The minister revealed that the legitimate government in Aden was embarking on a project to construct and connect Photovoltaic power stations with each station providing 5 to 50 megawatts.

The project aims at providing electricity to mainly smaller cities and rural areas at four to seven hours each evening after charging all day, said the minister, adding that the cost will not exceed 40 percent of the citizens budget as oppose to other power sources such as fuel and diesel.

Though solar energy is heavily used since 2011, the matter of fact is that most Yemenis use such power to attend to basic functions such as charging phones and operating televisions; therefore, it is important to extend the horizon of citizens and show them this technology could be used for other purposes, said minister Al-Anani.

Meanwhile, solar energy specialist Salah Abdsalam revealed that though solar energy was in heavy demand, the ill-use of such resource was very common.

The lack of knowledge on how to maintain solar energy devices sometimes creates a problem for some citizens and they pay more money they used pay to while using the government power-grid, he claimed.

The economic validity of the solar powered systems is more prevalent at government institutes than with the common Yemeni citizen, affirmed Abdsalam.