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Although the sun shines all year in Iraq, it could be a source of alternative solar energy that will solve the current electricity crisis. However, the political realities in Iraq are limiting both internal and external investments in this area.
The heat in Iraq is unprecedented this year, due to long-lasting power blackouts that occur daily and are caused by a shortage of energy supply to power stations that have collapsed multiple times.
The national electricity company was unable to supply homes and businesses with all their energy requirements. While some Iraqis depend on generators for their survival, many families don’t have the funds to purchase a generator.
The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), in an effort to reduce the impact of the crisis on Iraq, has adopted an initiative to encourage residents of Iraq to install renewable energy systems. These systems can generate electricity for their homes using loans that are available to anyone who wants to purchase them.
It was not as successful as expected due to major obstacles such as a lack of awareness about the benefits of solar energy, administrative fees, and six per cent interest from banks.
Officials in Iraq expect significant changes in the use of renewable energy in the coming five years. The fact that the current government has signed significant contracts in this area is a reason for their optimism.
European banks expressed their desire for financing solar energy projects in Iraq. On Monday, Mustafa Ghalib (Governor of the CBI) met with Ville Varjola, Ambassador of the European Union to Iraq to discuss the matter.
Solar energy systems are sold in Baghdad, Erbil and other cities. They can be installed on roofs. These panels are designed to store the solar energy that is absorbed during the day and make it available at night.
This area of investment is extremely promising in a country such as Iraq, where the sun shines on average 300 days per year. A solar system can cost between four and five thousand dollars. This is quite a large sum for most families.