It has repeatedly been said that Eritrea is endowed with abundant sources of renewable energy. Even though there is a high potential of Wind and solar energy, geothermal potential is also not to be viewed lightly. Despite such huge potential, only 2% of Eritrea’s population has so far become beneficiary of renewable sources of energy. This being the fact, only 38% of the country’s overall population has been having access to electricity. Bearing in mind that the country is endowed with solar energy, most of the country’s population would become beneficiary of natural and cost effective means of energy provided that efficient and reliable solar or wind equipment are introduced and installed by professionals. Hence, the Ministry of energy and Mines and particularly the Department of Energy is now keen to train interested nationals and other individuals who aspire to upgrade their know-how not only about the quality of renewable energy equipment but also about their installation procedure.
In the pre-independence period Eritrea used to have a supply of only 30 megawatt of energy as compared to the 160 megawatt in the post-independence. The supply of electricity has increased by far, but such an increase in supply has accelerated the total urbanization of ruler and semi-urban areas. It is therefore, the increased demand of electricity supply which overshadows the huge increase in supply.
If the different researches conducted in the post-independence period show that there is a huge potential in different sources of renewable energy, one could not understand the reluctance in making maximum use of such a potential.
A visit to the Southern Red Sea of Eritrea, back in 2010, enabled us learn about the huge potential of wind energy and particularly of the supply of electricity which three wind turbines generated to cover a 1/3 of the overall demand of the port city of Assab.
One could indeed be amazed as regards the delay in making maximum use of renewable energy sources in different parts of the country. But, a training program by the Department of Energy and that of a recent graduation event of about 60 students who have been trained for about seven weeks in maintenance and installation of equipment of renewable energy is a way forward development and an indication of an increased initiative towards making a difference in the country’s supply of electricity.
The reason behind the initiative taken by the Department of Energy is occurrences of poor installation of equipment of renewable energy and thus negative impact in its sustainability. Hence, active engagement of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and partially that of the Department of Mines steams from finding ways of avoiding an unnecessary wastage and thereby to encourage a reliable and cost effective source of energy. What really concerns the Ministry of Mines and Energy is quality and standard of solar systems and other sources of renewable energy. It is a strong common understanding of different parties that a centralized and supervised solar activities and other sources would not only benefit individual users but the nation at large.
Taking into account the benefits of renewable energy sources, different private and governmental institution of the country have started to use solar energy. Among the governmental
institutions include the ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture and Eritrea Telecommunications Corporation.
Apart from their former experience, all the trainees have now acquired an added expertise in their electrical and technical know-how and particularly that of solar energy.
Solar energy and all sorts of renewable energy have indeed been very instrumental in the reduction of electricity consumption at individual, industrial, and governmental level. The initiative taken by the Department of Energy to train interested individuals who have only been engaged in installation of electricity and solar or wind energy equipment would enable the trainees have un up-to-date skill and it would pave a way that could enable them to cope up with future technical breakthroughs in such respective field. According to a briefings given by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Department of Energy, on the graduation event which was held on 20 February 2014, the nature of the training was interactive which enabled the trainees exchange and share their individual talent. Such a hands-on training courses coupled with keenness of trainees to learn new methods and procedures, would play due role in the promotion of renewable source of energy throughout Eritrea. Making maximum use of renewable energy would is expected to by far alleviate the country’s deficits of electricity supply.