21 December, 2012

Solar Power Not Being Exploited In Hadhramaut

During the hot summer, in Al Mukalla, electricity is rationed and so people have to use alternate means to get power supply. With no other readily available option to use but only generators, when electricity is disconnected, Mukalla, the business areas in particular, becomes one very noisy place. Noisy with generators. Generators are not only noisy, they are environmentally unfriendly and they require the unnecessary use of the very scarce, very expensive fossil fuels - diesel or petrol. I wonder: how come the people of Hadhramwt, who are very well traveled and connected, are not using solar power? The sun shines every day, all the year round in Hadhramout, and yet you will very rarely find any one using solar panels for power.

The Arab world has the largest oil reserves in the world; Hadhramaut, to date, has the largest oil reserves in Yemen. But, oil can not be replaced. It depletes, and with time - Hadhramawt will have no more oil or gas to exploit. With time, oil will become more and more expensive and when a time comes when all the required oil has to be imported - how many will then be able to afford it to power the mainly, cheap Chinese made generators? But, Hadhramaut like the rest of the Middle East, has abundant sunshine which can be exploited. Solar power: is renewable and can not be depleted; is clean; does not pollute; does not emit greenhouse gases and as it does not spill, it is not a danger to the environment; solar cells and its components, unlike generators, require little maintenance and they last very long; solar power panels can, easily, be used in even the remotest of places.

All that is required for solar power harnessing is the will, the initiative and what Hadhramout has - plentiful and constant supply of: sunshine. Why not use it? Why not take the example of Masdar City of using solar power and consuming so little energy that local resources will satisfy requirements  cheaply and without generating net emissions?