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Siemens aims to ‘unlock’ renewables in Afghanistan
Parts of Afghanistan’s electricity grid network are presently fragmented and supplied as passive islands with power fed from neighbouring countries. Today, only around 28% of the 37mn people living in Afghanistan have access to electricity.
The first phase of the Afghanistan Energy Hub project will focus on establishing commercial and technical feasibility. The second phase will focus on grid expansion and stabilisation, completing a national grid with international connections and the formation of local generation hubs utilising renewable energy.
The third and final stage will focus on developing the renewable energy sector, as well as other forms of ‘cost-effective’ energy production. The goal, according to Siemens, is to ‘unlock the potential of Afghanistan and stimulate economic and industrial growth.’
The plan could also enable Afghanistan to generate new income by leveraging what the German firm calls ‘its geo-strategic positioning as energy transit hub’ and exploiting abundant domestic renewable energy resources.
‘Energy is not only the infrastructure of infrastructure, it is the fundamental condition for the formation, expansion, and development of all of our capitals, whether it is human capital, social capital or financial capital,’ says a statement from Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan.
He adds: ‘We will build an Afghanistan where citizen can look forward to reliable power, not only for their homes and offices, but to ensure that their products, whether agricultural, industrial, or services, can rely on sustained, 24-hour energy, seven days a week, 365 days a year.’
US troops are due to leave Afghanistan in May, ending a 20-year long occupation. However, the country is still marred by ongoing conflict.