Villa Somalia leads the way in solar power innovation

Aug 13, 2017

Affordable, reliable and sustainable energy installed at Villa Somalia ©UNDP/Michael Atwood

Encouraging the use of renewable energy across the country, the Federal Government of Somalia on Sunday launched a solar power system for the Office of the Prime Minister in Mogadishu. The UN development agency (UNDP), together with the Ministry of Energy and Water, and with funding from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), have installed 298 solar panels – a 76KVA hybrid solar system – which will allow a saving of 35% on fuel consumption at Villa Somalia, or 120 litres daily.

Somalia relies significantly on imported oil and other fossil fuels for electricity generation and day-to-day activities, which impacts on both the economy and the environment. There is, however, a significant potential in all regions of Somalia for renewable and alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind power, that has so far remained largely untapped.

“The installation of the solar system in the building will help create a better working environment and indeed a greener environment,” H.E. Mahdi M. Gulaid, Deputy Prime Minister, said.

“The solar energy potential alone could be better exploited in Somalia, which enjoys over 310 sunny days – almost 3,000 hours of sunshine – yearly, which makes it an ideal environment for generating clean energy through solar," the Deputy Prime Minister underscored.

To address this, the Federal Government of Somalia is making strides in encouraging the use of renewable energy across the country, and has incorporated these efforts in the National Development Plan.

“Innovation in the field of renewable sources of energy has a huge potential in Somalia, particularly at a time when the construction industry is booming with many Somalis investing in restoring their lost dwellings, and the government in public buildings and basic social infrastructure,” George Conway, UNDP Country Director, emphasized.

500 solar lanterns in rural communities

Supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and UNDP, the project aims to scale up the provision of affordable and clean energy across civil service offices in Somalia. 

In the near future, six additional government offices will each be provided with 1500 watts solar systems. Five hundred solar lanterns will be distributed to rural communities or community centres without access to reliable sources of energy. Finally, 50 youth will be trained in the operation and maintenance of solar energy equipment.

Contact

Hassan Abdirizak Ahmed, Project Officer, Environment and Energy, UNDP Somalia

Mobile Mogadishu: +252617387777; Mobile Nairobi: +254714425600