By Isatou Jawara
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Momodou O Njie has revealed that the country’s high dependence on thermal generators for electricity supply is not sustainable and has been costing the economy dearly interms of foreign exchange.
PS Njie mentioned this at a consultation forum on renewable energy investment strategy plan which was held at Kairaba Beach Hotel. The purpose of the forum is to discuss with stakeholders on the Global Environment Facility 6 which will be implemented soon and to validate the renewable energy investment strategy for The Gambia.
The PS added that an assessment of the electricity supply situation reveals that over 95 percent of electricity consumed in the country is produced from thermal generators, which are petroleum product-based.
“The availability of adequate, reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of energy in particular modern energy services is crucial for the socio economic development of the country. This is the more reason why the coalition Government of The Gambia accords high priority to the energy sector in its development agenda,” he said.
“In a bid to change the situation, the government over the years has been exploring ways and means to reduce the country’s high dependence on petroleum products for power generations. This is why the need to look inward to make best use of the indigenous energy resources, called renewable energy, has become prominent in the governments search for solutions to the electricity problems of the country,” he added.
Alois Mhlanga, the representative from UNIDO also speaking at the occasion, said: “The Gambia is now working towards implementing GEF 6, the UNIDO project supported the Gambia to create conducive environment for the deployment of renewable energy.”