On Monday, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a report which claims that developing Djibouti’s significant renewable energy resources will allow the country to reach its goal of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
The ‘Djibouti Renewables Readiness Assessment’ report identifies that the country’s energy transition would come mainly from geothermal, wind, and solar resources, as well as strengthening the existing interconnection with the Ethiopian grid, which currently delivers 65% of Djibouti’s electricity needs.
Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of IRENA, said: “The development of local renewable resources would provide an answer for Djibouti’s energy access, energy security and employment needs.”
“The falling costs of renewable energy offers an opportunity for Djibouti to rethink its energy strategy, develop policies and build institutions that would create jobs, bring power to those currently without and deliver more reliable electricity services, all through clean, sustainable energy.”
Djibouti energy outlook
According IRENA, roughly 55% of the population of the East African country does not currently have access to conventional electricity. The country is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels and power, which exposes it to fluctuating oil prices, blackouts and other service disruptions.
IRENA claims that the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have also rapidly increased in the past 20 years due mainly to fossil fuels in the electricity mix and Djibouti’s unemployment rate, which currently stands at 60%.
The IRENA statement indicates that the report highlights that the renewable energy sector employs more people on a megawatt-hour basis than the conventional electricity sector and that off-grid renewable power can meet demand in unserved rural areas and replace existing diesel systems, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.
The Renewables Readiness Assessments (RRAs) offer a holistic evaluation of conditions for renewable energy deployment in a country, and outline the actions necessary to further improve these conditions, IRENA said.
The RRA recommends that Djibouti undertake a number of concrete measures to support the implementation of renewable energy including:
- A long-term energy plan
- Strengthening the legislative and regulatory framework
- Developing a clear rural electrification strategy
- Providing financial support for small- and medium-sized solar PV enterprises
According to IRENA, since 2011, more than 20 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific Islands have undertaken the RRA process with IRENA to accelerate the deployment of renewable technologies domestically.