By NY staff
In cooperation with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Decision Foundation for Media and Sustainable Development held a workshop under the slogan “Towards Better Use of Solar Energy in Yemen – Chances & Challenges” on November 9th, 2014.
In the workshop, the participants offered a set of recommendations that would contribute to creating a suitable environment for using solar energy.
The recommendations are to reduce the dependence on power generation by heavy fuel, to urge banks to provide easy and long-term loans for citizens and small business to install solar energy systems, to raise the customs duties on generators that run on fossil fuels, and to stop all means of power generation and replace it with the renewable alternatives.
The participants confirmed the need to improve the electricity network and initiate smart grid systems, the importance of doing studies in the rural areas to learn about the situation of citizens, evaluate the quantity of the needed electrical energy, and begin using a suitable system with the household income in the countryside.
The rural population represents 70% of Yemen’s population and lacks sustainable energy. Electric power doesn’t cover the needs of the urban population.
A group of researchers and specialists have participated in the workshop where they also discussed the economic, legislative, and technical environment to create a suitable environment for using solar energy. The second workshop will be held on November 13th in Taiz while the third one will be on November 16th in Aden.
The workshop began with a welcome speech delivered by the Chairman of the Decision Foundation, Mohamed Alabsi, and then a speech by the representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Mahmoud Kiah.
Kiah reviewed the foundation’s activities and its policy in supporting Yemeni society in order to improve the performance of the institutions of the state, the electricity sector, and power generation through environmentally friendly alternatives.
In his scientific paper, Yemeni scholar Marwan Dhamrin offered an introduction about the Smart Arts and renewable and clean energy, particularly solar energy.
He revealed the lost opportunities of the government and Yemeni citizens to get funds that would serve the development of the solar industry and reduce the burden of heavy fuel oil in the energy industry.
Dr. Marwan Dhamrin won a global patent for his research about the development of a silicon chip that is used in manufacturing solar panels. He is also a lecturer, expert, and member of the Association of Postdoctoral Studies in Japan.
A researcher in solar energy, Ali Hekmat, discussed the legislative and legal situation of the renewable energy sector and the opportunities or barriers, which prevent Yemen from producing energy by heavy fuel to the production of clean energy.
He also presented a study about the sizing systems for household systems, commercial solar panels, systems of water pumps, and wind energy, discussing the possibility of establishing assembling factories for solar panels.
The paper of the researcher and political analyst Majed Almadhaji highlighted the black markets and the role of the economic crises in manufacturing political influence.
The paper included very sensitive questions such as, why do most Yemenis prefer the electric generators to solar panels? What are the reasons for high prices of solar panels in Yemen, more than any place in the world? What are the recommendations and procedures that should be taken at the government level or in the legislative parliament?
They also discussed the convergence of the interests among those who attack the towers and electricity transmission lines on the one hand, dealers and smugglers of diesel on the other hand, and suppliers of electric generators, which invaded the local market.