Did you know that a Somali firm has turned to solar for cheaper power is response to choking diesel costs?

Did you know that a Somali firm has turned to solar for cheaper power is response to choking diesel costs?

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A new solar power plant in Mogadishu should quadruple the city’s generation capacity and cut bills, the owners said, providing relief to businesses facing crippling costs from diesel-generated electricity.

BECO, Somalia’s largest electricity supplier, said it had been producing 8 megawatts (MW) since March using solar panels bought from Germany and Britain, and this was expected to increase to 100 MW by 2022, at a cost of $40 million.

“It is a risky business,” chief engineer Mohamud Farah told Reuters, noting that a profit from safer bets such as investing in milk powder was almost guaranteed.

“But we are happy to be the first company to install solar energy to supply cheaper electricity.”

BECO which also transmits and distributes power to Kismayu, Barawe, Marka, Balad, Jowhar, Afgooye, Elasha and Mogadishu, said the additional solar power in its mix had already reduced electricity costs to $0.36 per kilowatt hour from $0.49 per kilowatt hour.

The panels now supply power for four hours a day to its 300,000 customers, with generators providing electricity for the rest of the time, Farah said. Read More: