Gambia: Focus On Renewable Energy

22 February 2024

The Gambia like most sub-Saharan African countries enjoy abundant sunshine throughout the whole year. This means that they are at a better chance to exploit the endless opportunities that renewable energy has come to offer.

Renewable energy sources are available in abundance as this type of energy is provided by the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth.

It is the cheapest power option in the world today. The cost of electricity from solar power fell by 85 percent between 2010 and 2020. Costs of onshore and offshore wind energy fell by 56 percent and 48 percent respectively, according to reports.

With advances in scientific technology and innovation, the world is fast-embracing renewable energy as a source of power in both homes and industries. This fast transition is currently taking shape in many developing countries and even island nations.

This is anchored on the premise that renewable energy is more economical, affordable and accessible to ensure energy for all.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) outlines the need to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. This is a key objective for least developed countries (LDCs) and small islands developing states (SIDS) and can provide a significant boost to economic growth.

This also reminds us about the rise in the number of modern smart cities that require more energy that has to be generated using renewable energy sources and simultaneously keep the environment clean.

It is in the news that the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MOPE) with technical assistance from the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is hosting a two-day stakeholder consultative forum for the development of a policy and regulatory framework that will accelerate the deployment of solar energy in The Gambia.

This initiative is not only timely, but a move in the right direction. The initiative, once operational in the country, would undoubtedly scale up the country's energy needs, thus accelerating growth.

There are many facilities that currently enjoy solar energy in the country. The Gambia can significantly cut down its dependence on generators by using this alternative source of energy.

From mitigating climate change, to cutting down costs spent on heavy fuel to power homes and industries, renewable energy is the solution to our energy needs.

For instance, solar powered energy offers sustainable alternatives with an unprecedented growth potential. It has the potential to accelerate growth with less financial expenditure.

It is high time government prioritises this alternative energy source especially in schools, health centres among others. This would significantly reduce 'on and off' and even low shedding, thereby cutting down financial cost. We all know that meeting the energy demands of both domestic and commercials, these days can sometimes be challenging.

Therefore, embracing renewable energy, especially solar powered energy should be encouraged in view of the fact that the Gambia enjoys sunshine throughout the whole year.

Extreme heat is a threat to lives in Africa!

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