Initiatives in each country to introduce solar power generation: Sri Lanka, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan -JICA seminars for those in charge of planning, for the propagation of solar power generation
Japan’s solar power generation system is a focus of attention both in and outside of the country. It is viewed as a way of diversifying energy sources, a measure against climate change, a provision against energy shortages and a means of local electrification. In the five years since fiscal year 2009, PREX has run solar power generation-related JICA seminars for 129 participants from 47 countries.
This seminar is for administrators involved in the promotion of solar power generation projects. Participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the basics of the power generation and the technology to utilize it. The course cites examples in Japan, as it aims to foster perspectives and an awareness of issues for the purpose of examining what is needed for the introduction of solar power generation in each participant’s country. This covers such aspects as policies and systems, what organizations are needed, what form they should take, and how they should be run. These seminars have been held once or twice a year from 2013 for a three-year period.
Purpose of introducing solar power generation and the issues involved
For the latest seminar, a total of nine people from six countries came to Japan. There was one participant each from Afghanistan, Algeria and Sudan, and two each from Malawi, Sri Lanka and Uruguay. Differing circumstances in each country make for different reasons for wishing to spread solar power generation: to proceed with energy diversification, to cut dependency of fossil fuels for thermal power generation, and to electrify localities that are far from power transmission lines using battery-equipped solar power generation systems, to name a few.
Even in emerging nations, the introduction of solar power generation systems is proceeding based on each country’s policies. Yet one problem is the poor quality of the systems’ equipment and in its design, construction and maintenance management. Given the situation, this year’s seminars placed special weight on understanding measures to maintain each piece of equipment in a solar power generation system, as well as the quality of the system’s design, construction and maintenance management. I would like to report on the status of efforts to introduce solar energy systems in each country, based on presentations by the participants during the course of the seminar.
Sri Lanka: the household-use solar power generation boom
The introduction of solar power generation systems to Sri Lanka began in the 1980s. In 2007, the government established the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority to promote renewable energy policies. The country had considered renewable energy from the perspective of energy security and economics.
Sri Lanka has an electrification rate of 96%. As in Japan, electricity becomes more expensive the more it is consumed. A boom for solar power generation is reportedly taking place there. Growing numbers of households are installing solar power generation systems for household consumption and cutting their electricity purchases. As a result, the capacity of solar power generation systems in households connected to the grid has risen to 6.6 MW.
Seminar participants told us that once they learned of the great extent to which solar power generation systems had been introduced in Japan not just for household use but for industrial use, they too wanted to consider policies to propagate systems for industry.
Algeria: taking measures to propagate solar power generation in its southern region
Algeria is actively introducing solar-power generation as it aims for energy diversification and a reduction in fossil fuel dependency. The aim is to sell the energy on the international market for favorable set prices. Under current energy policies, the country is planning to introduce 1,800 MW of solar photovaltaic power generation and 4,200 MW of concentrationg solar power generation by 2025. Solar power generation is being given more weight as an objective due to technical problems that are foreseen with concentrationg solar power generation.
The seminar participant see Algeria’s task as promoting solar power generation plants in its southern region. Projects are already under way in several locations in the northern region and with sufficient numbers of engineers. But in the southern region, training is required for these workers. Also, the region being a desert zone, temperatures become particularly high, so the solar power generation technology required is of a type that can endure heat and remain usable over a long period of time.
Afghanistan: attracting private sector investment.
Though Afghanistan’s infrastructure has been destroyed by its long-running civil war, its nationwide rate of electrification had risen to 30% as of 2014. Yet the rate for the local region with 75% of the country’s population remains unchanged at 4%. The electrification efforts underway make use of Afghanistan’s rich water resources for hydroelectric and micro hydroelectric power generation. But for the regions far removed from areas with those resources, the Afghan government is considering promoting local electrification using solar power. Such a project was begun several years ago, but the quality of the solar power generation system was poor, and with no guarantee available to investors, it came to a standstill. The seminar participant therefore intends to put what they learned in Japan to work.
He intend to examine measures to, among other things, put economic incentives in place to attract private sector investment, establish standards for the introduction of solar power generation and guidelines for plant construction, and set up vocational training schools. The progress of electrification may also contribute to the nation’s political stability.
(Mori, Okumura, International Department)
TOPIC:Post-homecoming activity report: Mr. Tallal Tauseef of Pakistan’s National Transmission and Despatch Company
During the seminars, a time slot was set up for teleconferencing with the previous year’s participants, who reported on their activities since returning to their home countries. Mr. Talal Tausif, an official of Pakistan’s public electricity distribution utility, was a participant in the 2013 seminar. He reported on the current state of the introduction of solar power generation in Pakistan and the progress of the action plan he had created while a participant. I would therefore like to present what he said.
Mr. Tauseef participated in the August-September 2013 seminar. The activity plan he made for his return to Pakistan comprised investigating such issues as: a technical evaluation of the amount of solar power generation it would be possible to introduce into existing grid system by November 2016; the establishment of guidelines for grid interconnection for solar power generation; and a review of renewable energy policies. As for his current state of progress, he has drawn up an investigative report on power flow when 1,000 MW of solar generated power is connected to the core power system, and is in the process of holding discussions on the forum of grid code review panel.
The Pakistani government has a project underway to introduce a total of 1,000 MW of solar power generation by 2020. Private enterprises entering into the solar power generation business have, on seeking bidding internationally, attracted bids for over 5,000 MW, greatly exceeding the planned 1,000 MW. Pakistan faces the problem of setting appropriate electricity prices, as well as the issue of the need for preparing thermal and hydroelectric power facilities in order to resolve power shortages.
However, the country is putting much effort into introducing renewable energy in order to reduce its fossil fuel imports and frequency of power shortages.