Will solar energy save Darfour?
20 April 2010
Oil exploration and hydro-electric dams on the Nile are at present the essential providers of energy in the Sudan.
These are insufficient resources to provide the 20,000 additional MegaWatts which it is anticipated will be required for the next 20 years. In addition to this, certain regions, such as the north of Darfour, are not connected to the national electricity grid.
According to the General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Omer Mohamed Kheir, “the biofuels, wind power, solar power, natural gas, and perhaps even nuclear” could provide a solution.
Investments are under way to develop “solar energy by concentration”. The technique consists of producing electricity by way of steam deriving from mirrors reflecting the rays of the sun.
The desert climate and the powerful sunlight of Darfour make it an ideal region for the establishment of an electricity generating plant of 150 MegaWatts operating on solar power and gas.
The energy produced will supply the local infrastructures and allow for the pumping of underground sources of water in the region, two key factors in putting an end to the civil war which is ravaging Darfour.