Challenges of using renewable/ clean energy in Somaliland


 by abdirask Hassan ali[ irgin]

In people’s daily life energy provides essential service for cooking and heating, lighting, food production and storage, education and health services, industrial production and transportations. However, there is a real gab between industrialized areas and poorer, mainly rural  or  peri-urban communities where obtaining energy for basic human needs is daily challenge [FAO, 2006] , an estimated  2.5 billion  people  in developing countries rely heavily on biomass, such as fuel ,wood and charcoal .  on  a report of  world energy outlook  by the international energy agency[IEA] clearly stated that’’ current global trends are patently un-sustainable’’ to  overcome the situation, it has identified  two major energy challenge that the world  these include 1. Securing the supply of reliable  and affordable energy 2.  Effecting The rapid  transformation to  a  low  carbon efficient and environmentally benign system of energy;; to meet these challenge reducing the dependence  on oil and biomass has become one of the priorities for most countries around the world , -apart from this , the only source  which the Somaliland people use as source of energy is charcoal, according to 2007 study by the academy  for peace and development, more than 2.5 million trees  are felled annually  and burned  for charcoal in Somalia, the report stated that  each house hold in Somalia  consumed  an equivalent 10 trees  a month.  This deforestation exacerbates soil erosion and reduces rainfall availability. Trees are also important in carbon fixing- reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

It has been taken a heavy toll on the acacia  forests, as traders’ clear- cut entire swaths of forest for shipment for gulf states, the process of turning cut wood into charcoal is also rough, dirty process that pollutes the air , albeit in a very local fashion. While the impact on the global environment and global warming is negligible at best ramifications of charcoal trade and the livelihoods of Somalis are drastic.  A lot of organizations have been searching alternative source for charcoal energy, despite their effort they display several sources amongst renewable energy

Renewable energy  is a energy generated from natural resource- such as sun light , wind , rain                                               tides and geothermal heat which are renewable[ naturally replenished] unlike non-renewable energy  can be found all across the country and are accessible to everyone despite this the consumption of  renewable energy is less compared  to the other sources of energy such as charcoal anyway the   need to activate  to activate the various  natural resource management policies and legislation may enhance the use of renewable resource , and in turn this will contribute  to a cleaner and healthier environment  more jobs and income for many people. ‘’ [1]Somaliland  is not involved in any international  efforts to mitigate  or adapt to climate change , the recently developed  national adaptation plan of action under the auspices of UNDP is a step in the right direction and will open windows  for funding climate related activities ‘’  however the consumption of  renewable energy,  which are friendly to the environment are less in Somaliland  compared to the other countries and this may bring  a challenges – these include economical challenge, social cultural factor  we will discuss on later In here


1.1: significance of clean energy

Almost the major challenge of this world is energy; whose main source is non- renewable energy unfortunately the non- renewable energy is running out.  it was estimated that in the year of 2070  all the  fossil fuels will run out , in alternatively various studies  suggest that  renewable energy will be remain and can be used over and over , apart from this  renewable energy  unlike the other source can be found in everywhere in country and that is means  it can be accessible to everyone  whether rural areas or urban centers. further more it is a self regeneratable  that is  friendly to the environment these include geothermal energy  solar energy , however obtaining clean energy  for everyone  is one of the factors contributes  for the conservation of the environment and sustainability of  non renewable resource  in order to left  resource  for the future generation obviously using the renewable resource of energy is benefit due to the following ways

Non-pollutant sources:  clean energy  are non pollutant and thus are friendly to the environment, despite this  the most of the fuels used on the planet today  are releasing copious  amount of  gas  which are in turn polluting  the atmosphere and contributing towards global warming, as we become more energy conscious and moving away  from using such fuels, renewable becomes  great option as they are not releasing  any harmful substances

As a continues source: one of the biggest threats  to the energy  available on earth  is its renewability ,  most of the energy  on the planet are not renewable  and this is where renewable resource  is such wonderful option , renewable sources  is a renewed energy  and as fast as it is used up  it can be renewed .  Clean energy is obtained from natural sources  so  really  we will only run out  these energy source if we leave this universe

As a source of  stop electricity:  Remote areas  which are far from mains of electricity clean energy will be alternative source  of electricity despite this  many countries  like Ethiopia  Uganda who have water bodies  use hydro electric power to obtain cheaper electricity which every citizen are affordable  to pay it. They also used to provide  the electricity  for the neighborhood countries  for instance Uganda provides electricity parts  of  Kenya in alternatively  Uganda gets  a money  for paying electricity which inturn promotes  the national GDP of country  and also the income of every citizen, the clean energy provide the sufiecnt   and accessible to every one

As  a clean house hold energy: clean energy acts sometimes as source of energy in house hold  these include biogas , which is refered to a gas produced by the breakdown matter in the absence it is renewable source further biogas can be  from regionally available raw material and recycled waste apart from this    biogas is important for womens who are always  present in the  kitchen and sucking the contaminated smoke released by the burning charcoal, nowadays people are widely using the  biogas after making a lot of effort , for instance the project of sheikh veterinary school  people are begun to adopt

The significance of clean  energy , is not only these factors but there are a lot ,  in view of scarcity of easily exploitable  conventional energy wind and solar  could contribute  to meeting local energy requirement, by providing sufficient energy despite this Somaliland accounts most countries which  have in richness  to the clean energy, yet the consumption of  clean energy is low  according to the other countries like Ethiopia which the use of clean energy  is in its highest peak. This may bring  current challenges in the country amongst lack of policy.

1.2: challenges obstacles using clean energy in Somaliland

According to the study 2007 for the piece of development, the use of charcoal in widely bring sudden deforestation to the much of the country, in alternatively small organizations have been trying to discover  a  new  source of energy, according to their effort they  display several sources amongst renewable  energy  but unfortunately people will not adopt yet  for using the renewable source   apart from wind energy application which are increasingly accepted with the current installations of about 4,000wp  in hargeisa , Borama and burco, it is a mainly used  for pumping water. Also  A work shop to manufacture mechanical wind pumps was recently commissioned in hargeisa city  and the first 2 mechanical wind mills  are being produced  despite  the demonstrated potential of wind energy, there have been little effort to deploy this renewable resource in Somaliland. One of the reasons is lack of a awareness, lack of wind data, lack of wind equipment, high cost of wind system, lack of technicians to install and maintain wind energy system [November 2010 report on Somaliland energy policy] .   Furthermore the report states that the use  of renewable energy technology is low due to following reasons :

Absence of  a policy environment: since  Somaliland broke away from the rest of Somalia , there were  no rules ,  or mitigations which govern  our environment, the role of government- that is to encourage  the use of alternative  energy systems and the production and delivery of energy service by  private sectors is absence

Lack of public education and information:   lack of  publications education an  awareness towards  the use and benefit of these resource is one of the factors contributes to  less consumptions  of  this  resource , and we all know that most of our people are from  rural area where  the education is less, so reaching enough awareness to these people  may bring a progress towards the use  of clean energy.


Limited availability of well trained and skilled technician:   this is another   brier which  challenges  the use  of renewable energy and that is why  many parts of the country’s consumptions remains low due to lack  of  locally trained  technicians ,so to increase the adoption of clean energy there is a need to have sufficient number of trained artisans at the local level  who can construct and provide quality service for any interested client at a reasonable cost this shows that if local people are trained in installations, operation and maintenance skills then the adoption rate of clean energy will increase, thus the  government and minister of national energy  should implement and initiate capacity building programs  in institutions.

Lack of credit facilities[ cost of payment]: the high initial cost and lack of credit financing arrangements  have hampered  the uptake or use of renewable- wind technology ,solar energy , this may suggest  if the local micro-finance institutions provided  low interest loans  for procurement renewable source such as wind energy may decrease the use clean energy

High installation cost: this one  one of the factors  challenges of using solar energy or wind energy, lack of credit facilities coupled with   high installation cost are some of the barriers  to effective adoption of clean energy in Somaliland

Social- cultural factors :  people are to their cultures  and they oppose everything    that erase for   cultural  behaves  such  as using the traditional  cook stoves for instance people who live in the eastern country like Erigabo  are not proud of using  cattle dung as source  of energy, instead  they believe towards these as an abuse  . despite these  there are other challenges contribute  these include :

  • High up- front cost of renewable energy technology and the absence  of credit for end-users
  • Fragile private sectors lacking the necessary fund , human resource , information and linkage to RET equipment supplies in industrialized countries
  • An absence of financial mechanisms to allow users  to purchase  solar or wind systems  al though economically competitive may cost mor than a diesel driven pump
  • Absence of policy environment that encourages the use of alternative  energy system and the production and delivery of energy services by private sectors
  • Lack of information’s regarding the use , advantage and limitations of RE


1.3:  Recommendations

In order to achieve sustainable cost-effective renewable source

  • Preparation database to all available energy sources ,such as wind , solar  water
  • Promoting man power skills  and establish vocational training centers, in order to produce  trained skills
  • Provide encouragements from both local and direct foreign investment
  • Create attractive policy for foreign investments and partnership in the energy sectors
  • Creating policy environment that  encourages the use  of alternate energy systems  and the production of delivery of energy service by private sectors
  • Integrating  the importance of environment  to the national   curriculum may enhance  the  use renewable  energy source  in the near future
  • Provide taxi holidays  for at least 2 years  to encourage private sectors to invest  in modern energy technologies
  • Opening technical schools , in order to obtain  well trained technicians , which inturn  provide the installations to  the local  people  in acceptable  price
  • Increase budgetary allocation to the government ministries that are working on renewable energy
  • Provide infrastructures resources such as transport and communication equipment to staff as well as community representatives in order to enable them to implement  and monitor  renewable energy related activities
  • Formulate and sustain measures to increase wood supply

1 .4 : Conclusions

Somaliland which is located in the horn of Africa, the only source of energy in Somaliland is biomes and non-renewable energy this in turn  causes severe environmental degradation  after  long searching  alternative energy  by  organization they found that  clean energy   will be the alternative form -that is Somaliland  is accounts for the countries where  richness of  clean energy is more  according to the other sources  this is due to the challenges that we have discussed  before , so by adapting above strategies we can adopt our people to the  use  renewable energy



Challenge assessments on renewable  energy in Kenya [ report]

Academy study for peace  and development [ study on 2007]

Somaliland energy  policy  [ report published  on November 2010]

FAO study   on  [ 2006]

Project  of biogas in sheikh  veterinary [ Report   published  on 2013 by Abdinasir]

About the author : Abdirasak Hassan Ali  is an environmentalist  who are candidate of bachelor degree  at hargeisa university , the author also  a lot of articles involves  environmental affairs in Somaliland       facebook: abdirasaq h. ali

Phone: 0634675486


[1] Ahmed Ibrahim awale


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