Somalia’s Power Problem is Being Solved with Solar Microgrids for Local Communities

Move to Somalia if you don’t like it here.  If you do, you might be more self-reliant than you are here.  The problem of power (electric, that is) in Somalia is being solved by solar microgrids.  SolarGen Technologies has entered Somalia to set up microgrids for local communities.


How solar microgrids are bringing stability to war-torn Somalia

Beleaguered by famine, terrorism and war, Somalia has the added burden of some of the highest energy costs in the world. But now relief is coming in the form of solar microgrids for refugees and communities thanks to an East African company.

SolarGen Technologies is on a mission to help stabilize the country of 12 million people, using solar microgrids to cut diesel emissions and lower energy costs that are now as high as $1 to $3/kWh.

With offices in Somalia and Kenya, the renewable energy equipment distributor expects to complete the first of its solar microgrids in Somalia in about two months. The project is slated to reduce energy costs to about 50 cents/kWh from roughly $1/kWh, said Sean Brooks, director of business development, SolarGen.

The project is part of an international effort to help stabilize the area after its liberation from the Somali terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, in 2014, he said.

SolarGen will describe its work in Somalia on the panel, “Microgrids for the Greater Good,” May 9 at Microgrid 2018 in Chicago. 

Funded by the Somalia Stability Fund, an international multi-donor fund, the 48-kW system will serve 175 households in Warsheikh, a coastal town north of Mogadishu, site of the battle depicted in the film Black Hawk Down. The microgrid is 100 percent solar and includes lead-acid battery storage, with diesel as backup, Brooks said.

SolarGen will build the microgrid and operate it for two years, then transfer operation and ownership to a community-owned utility.

“We will operate it for two years while the local community sets up its own utility company,” Brooks said.

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