Electricity consumers in Somaliland will now enjoy lower electricity charges thanks to a UK funded renewable energy programme which also aims at increasing connectivity across Somaliland.
The Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somaliland (ESRES) programme launched Thursday in Hargeisa will give people more access to affordable, clean and renewable energy.
The UK embassy in Mogadishu said in a statement the (ESRES) implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MoEM) will address the high cost of electricity which is an impediment to growth.
“The diversification of Somaliland’s energy mix, and the strengthening of energy security will help address the high costs of electricity which is a significant barrier to growth,” the statement read in part.
Across Somalia and Somaliland, electricity which is largely generated through diesel generators is ranked among most expensive globally with a kilowatt unit going for up $1. The World Bank estimates electricity access in Somalia including Somaliland is at 15% meaning around 11 million Somalis lack access to electricity services.
LOW COST AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
The head of UK’s oversees aid department in Somalia, DFID, Phil Evans said the new programme will go a long way in cutting down electricity costs and promoting economic growth.
“The biggest beneficiary of this new phase of ESRES will be the people of Somaliland who will now pay significantly less for their electricity – building on the successes of the first phase of the programme, we believe this new phase will help promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in Somaliland,” Evans said.
The second phase of ESRES launched Thursday running from September 2018-2021 will expand investment in renewable energy through the Somaliland Renewable Energy Fund (SREF), the UK embassy said. It will also be based on partnership with local energy service providers to develop hybrid mini grids through a cost sharing arrangement.
Somaliland’s Director of Energy, Eng. Liban Mohamed hailed the programme as key for Somaliland in realising its renewable energy objectives.
“We believe this event is crucial for the Somaliland Renewable Energy Fund under the ESRES Programme. This event will encourage all of us to share our ideas, coordinate our efforts and synchronise our thinking towards the successfulness of this programme
Under phase one of ESRES (September 2015 – August 2018), six hybrid mini-grids providing clean energy across Somaliland were installed. The programme also saw energy tariffs reduced by 43% on average in addition to 10,274 new connections.
Carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 2,900 tonnes annually as a result of the ESRES I, the UK embassy said adding it also supported the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to develop the policy and regulatory framework.