Reliance on renewable energy–a viable long term strategy for Afghanistan?

Mar 21, 2017
By Alias Wardak-Electricity accounts for 18 percent of the total world energy demand with a growing rate of 2.7 percent per year. The International Energy Agency (IEA) views electricity security as “vital to well-functioning of modern economies” since all sectors depend on reliable and efficient electricity systems. Thus, electricity security is essential for a sustainable and socially responsible economic growth and should be one of the top strategic priorities of a country.
Afghanistan is a country with tremendous potential of renewable energy sources.   According to the Ministry of Energy and Water of Afghanistan, the country’s  hydropower potential is projected to be 18,000-23,000 MW and the solar energy potential is estimated to be more than 200,000 MW. Afghanistan’s wind energy potential is around 68,000 MW. Despite these exceptional figures, Afghanistan is importing more than 75 percent of its electricity from Central Asia and Iran which cost the country on average more than $ 200 million per year. The remaining 25 percent is domestically generated, mainly through hydropower and diesel generators.
Afghanistan needs to reduce its current dependency on electricity in order to pave the way for sustainable and socially responsible economic growth through utilization of its tremendous domestic resources. The current dependency on imports from Central Asia and Iran does not allow a long-term development and is an obstacle for the country’s ambitious strategy reflected in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF).
Read more at:
Afghanistan Times, March 20, 2017

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