Though Afghanistan’s energy demands have risen over recent years, the country imports most of its electricity. Traditional electric power grids are costly and often require constant maintenance. They are also responsible for polluting the air. In places that get sunlight for over half the year, solar power makes good sense. Afghanistan is one of those places. With more than 300 days of sunlight per year, this nation is not likely to run out of natural energy.
Afghanistan’s first solar power plant
The government of Afghanistan has recently made a deal with the Asian Development Bank for the necessary funding to build a new photovoltaic system. This will be the nation’s first solar plant, a 20-megawatt solar power plant. The new plant will be located in the Naghlu area of Kabul’s Surobi district.
Many developing countries are now considering photovoltaic panels for their power grid due to cheaper prices. The cost of solar panels has dropped 62 percent over the last five years. In fact, much of the equipment needed for solar energy has declined. It’s an economical method that is actually much more dependable in third world countries.
Transitioning to solar power
During hurricane season, Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was almost wiped out. As the country began to rebuild the power grid, many people suggested photovoltaic power. Puerto Rico is warm year-round with more than enough sunlight to power solar panels. Though the idea made sense, it’s often difficult to get people to move away from the concept of traditional electricity.
Afghanistan and Puerto Rico share a common enemy when it comes to their infrastructure. One of the nations is troubled by frequent wars and the other is troubled by frequent hurricanes. This means that the electric grid could suffer damage or destruction again within only a few short years.
Cost-effective solar power
Afghanistan’s new on-grid solar power generation project will be cost-effective and reliable. Any future damage to it could be repaired for much lower costs. Renewable energy projects are frequently more profitable and have fewer problems. Today, only one-third of the 30 million people in Afghanistan have access to reliable energy. With the completion of the photovoltaic energy grid, that number should double.
Countries like India that have suffered due to unreliable or non-existent energy, are also considering building solar power plants in the future. In addition to the lower costs and better dependability, solar energy eliminates tons of carbon dioxide from the air we breathe. India has struggled with pollution concerns.
This is true in all of Southeast Asia as well. Factories are located in SE Asia that manufacture products that will be shipped all over the world. Though great for the economy, the process of making products like auto parts, jewelry, luggage and the like, is hard on the environment. Solar power could reduce the pollution by one-third.