By Goth Mohamed Goth
H.E President Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo today inaugurated the country’s first wind farm with a purpose to confront Somaliland’s ongoing energy crisis, with the support of USAID the Ministry of Energy and Mineral has erected five turbines worth over 350,000 dollars near the Hargeisa Egal International Airport.
President Silanyo speaking at today’s event said, “I would like to use this occasion to thank both the Somaliland Ministry of Energy and Minerals and the USAID for a job well done, the country must shift its dependence on fossil fuels for its energy generation and instead turn to other energy resources, especially wind, solar, fossil fuels and other renewable resources which are abundant in Somaliland so as to meet the energy needs of Somaliland for Social and Economic Development in a cost effective way that promotes sustainable energy production .
Minister of Energy and Mineral resources Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh speaking at the launch of wind energy project said, “Businesses have been unable to operate to their full potential as there is no regular or reliable supply of electricity in Somaliland. This is slowing economic activity and development in the region. We need to look at alternative and renewable sources of energy to reverse this trend.
Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh added, “Somaliland has one of the world’s highest electricity rates. While the rest of the world pays an average 15 to 30 cents per kilowatt hour, Hargeisa’s residents pay one dollar per kWh. High energy prices have blocked competition and stifled investment not to mention an inadequate and inefficient power supply system, arising from stunted generation capacity growth, a poor transmission and distribution infrastructure and poor utility commercial practices, has been prevalent.
“This is why we must seriously look at new sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind power, especially when Somaliland has over 340 days of sun and some of the fastest wind in the world,” Hon Dualeh stated.
Somaliland’s first Electricity Energy Act (Somaliland energy policy No. 01/419/08/03/2010) which was approved by the national assembly paved way for the country’s first and foremost legal and regulatory framework aimed at managing energy production and distribution, This policy framework provides Somaliland Government’s vision for increased and improved modern energy supply for sustainable economic development as well as improving the quality of life of the Somaliland population.
To translate it into reality an indicative short and medium term action plan has been developed and appended. Significant resources will be required to implement this action plan. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all Government ministries and agencies that have a stake in this matter and development partners to work together to realise this vision with a focus on piloting alternative energy solutions, including wind farms in four major cities.
Somaliland has abundant energy resources, especially wind, solar, fossil fuels and other renewable resources, yet there is widespread energy poverty throughout the country. There is an urgent need to develop these energy resources and improve our energy supply.The provision for modern energy supply, especially electricity has been limited mainly to urban and semi-urban areas. A paradigm shift in energy planning is required to achieve equitable modern energy distribution.