A new photovoltaic solar power plant in Mogadishu, Somalia has been commissioned with a capacity of 8 MWp by Beco, the East African country electricity supplier.
According to Mohamud Farah, the company’s chief engineer, the aim of the photovoltaic solar power plant in Mogadishu was to reduce the cost of electricity through the reduction of costs involved in importing fossil fuels for the electricity production and on the sidelines, reduce the CO2 emissions by the many diesel-powered generators in use in the country.
Apparently, the key objective has been met so far with the cost per kWh of electricity dropping significantly from US$ 0.49 to US$ 0.36 even though the plant is only capable of providing electricity for only four hours straight every single day.
Mohamud Farah mentioned that they intend to begin the expansion of the photovoltaic solar power plant in Mogadishu in 2022 at a cost of approximately US$ 40M so that it reaches a capacity of 100 MWp in the coming years to help the company reduce the country’s demand for electricity which is currently estimated to be 200MW.
Somalia renewable energy potential
Somalia, according to a recent study by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is estimated to have the highest renewable energy potential of all the African nations. Regarding the onshore wind power, it is estimated that the country can produce between 30,000 and 45,000 MW, while it could produce approximately 2,000 kWh/m2 of solar energy.
With all this potential, however only about 106 MW has been tapped so far and the private power companies serving Somalia, for the lack of a national electricity grid following its collapse alongside that of the government at the start of the 1991 civil war, still heavily depend on diesel generators for electricity generation.
Source: Construction Review Online