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Journalists urged to join energy access campaign

September 22, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Campaign Leader, Power For All, yesterday urged journalists to join them in their campaign to ensure the delivery of universal renewable energy access.

During a media training workshop hosted at the Hub Hotel, Wilberforce, in Freetown, Amie Dumbuya stated that the country’s energy revolution has provided an important platform to catalyse clean energy access.

She expressed firm belief that by working together and raising awareness on the potential of decentralised renewables, communities across the country would be provided with vital opportunity to switch from expensive batteries, torches and generators to more affordable, safer and cleaner power.

According to her, the training was meant to have journalists learn more about decentralised solar technologies and how they would help to bring clean and modern energy services to millions of people across the country.

Ms. Dumbuya stated that switching from expensive battery powered torches and kerosene to solar lightning in Sierra Leone would save the country’s residents US$105 million per year, while larger decentralised renewable products could be used to power enterprises, health services, schools and agriculture.

She informed participants that ‘Power For All’ was a global campaign to accelerate the deployment of distributed renewable energy solutions from basic solar lanterns to rooftop systems and renewable mini-grids.

“The campaign serves as a collective voice for businesses and civil society organisations focused on achieving universal energy access,” she said.

She added that they would also seek to shape policy, attract investment and build effective and collaborative partnerships, thereby creating enabling conditions for the sector to scale at speed.

She continued that the campaign has four priority areas, citing the implementation of the energy Africa Compact and the integration of decentralised renewables into energy policy and planning as one of them.

During his presentation on Sierra Leone’s energy access review and renewable potential, Ing Benjamin Kamara from the Ministry of Energy said 30-40% of urban households use wood and charcoal as their main cooking fuel.

He revealed that the country’s power generation currently stands at 58% from thermal plants and 42% from hydro, adding that they were in the process of reviewing the National Energy Policy which was developed in 2009.

During the workshop, journalists were also provided with useful information on decentralised renewable technologies, including solar, mini-grids and micro-hydro, which would help in addressing the energy needs of the country.

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