SADC: SOLAR ENERGY/DAILY NEWS/20/6/18 SABANews 1
DAR ES SALAAM – Former President BENJAMIN MKAPA of TANZANIA says experts and institutions across Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA should work out plans to expand the use of solar to generate reliable and affordable power.
He says the sub-region is gifted with abundant sunlight which, if well utilised, can speed up electricity generation, boost the industrial economy and increase youth employment.
The DAILY NEWS says Mr MKAPA has addressed delegates to the launch of the Solar Photovoltaic Guide Book written by renewable energy expert GODWIN MSIGWA in DAR ES SALAAM.
He says Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA is consuming just a single gigawatt out of the 400 megawatts generated around the world.
However, Mr MKAPA says the fact is contrary to the actual situation in the region because most of its countries are still facing electricity problems despite being a sun-belt region.
He says EUROPE, CHINA, the UNITED STATES, JAPAN and INDIA have other major sources of power, but they are also generating solar power.
GERMANY has already connected more than 40 gigawatts to its national grid, while CHINA has more than 70 gigawatts; which shows solar technology is growing and becoming a reliable source of electricity.
Mr MKAPA says his country, TANZANIA, needs to set up strategic plans to boost solar machinery, and the State has to oversee the implementation of the scheme via institutions like the Science and Technology Commission.
The government should seek collaboration with other development partners and experts from public and private sectors.
However, Mr MKAPA says solar energy technology is ONE of the renewable energy technologies use in the country, but it has been fetching a poor market – especially in rural areas.
He says the sector is further facing a problem of experts who can install the solar systems at required standards, which has left the burden on semi-skilled technicians.
The former Head of State says the new the book will help people learning to become engineers in solar energy to get proper guidance that will help them to improve their work.
The EU Development Cooperation Head of Delegation to TANZANIA, JOSE CORREIA, says energy development plays a key role in the national drive for industrialisation in TANZANIA.
He says his group has had a long-term support to the local energy sector, mainly promoting rural energy access and power generation from renewables such as hydropower and solar.
The author of the guide says the manual will be available free to colleges under the TANZANIA Vocational Education and Training Authority, as well as public and private libraries and others./Sabanews/cam