Some studies have reported that the wind speed is relatively large at high altitudes and coastal areas. Yemen has a unique geographic location. It has a long coastline and plenty of high altitudes. Due to all these characteristics, Yemen is a perfect place for generating energy from the wind. Yemen possesses a very good potential of solar and wind energy. However, the wind energy has not yet been studied seriously in Yemen though there are a few studies about wind speed for some locations.
The Yemeni government and private sector investors plan to set up a wind power plant in Yemen at a total cost of $320 million to generate 182 megawatts of electricity. Work on the project is expected to start in 2011 and will take five years to be completed.
Al-Mocha Wind Farm: The objective is to demonstrate the operational feasibility of wind power (60 MW) at Al-Mocha to be connected to the national grid. To accomplish this, the proposed Project will finance: (a) Al-Mocha Wind Farm; and (b) Technical Assistance to develop local capacity in the development and implementation of wind projects. Decision Meeting scheduled for 8 February 2010. Environmental Assessment Category B. Project: P106069. US$ 20.0/50.0/15.0 (IDA Grant/AFD/IDB). Consulting services to be determined. Public Electricity Corporation, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Tel: (967-1) 328-164, Fax: (967-1) 326-214, E-mail: email@example.com, Contact: Eng. Abdul Mumin Mutahar, Director General.
Minister of Electricity and Energy Awadh al-Suqatri talk about the situation of electricity in the country. He started with electricity output which is ranging between 1200-1300 megawatt across the country, 12 governorates out of 22 are linked to National Electric Network with the output of 850 megawatt. 200 megawatt is bought energy from British Agrreko Company. Governorates of Mahra, Hadramout, Shabwah and Al-Beidha are fed by isolated networks with output estimated at 300 megawatt.
Over problems of operating Mareb Power Station to be operated by gas or Mareb 1, the Minister said Mareb one has faced several problems since its construction till operation. The current problem facing operating the station is technical one, the gas supplied by Safer Company contains impurities and great quantities of diesel.
There are tests on operating the station by a gas coming from Yemen Company for Liquefied Natural Gas, which tests approved it is clean and dry and suitable to the station. For this, 8-inch diameter pipeline from Yemen LNG was extended to station as the second source of solving operation problem, after solutions made by safer to clean the gas have failed.
He affirmed that the forthcoming years will witness carrying out a number of electric projects to promote this vital sector and in keeping pace with great demand of energy resulted by construction expansion.
He affirmed his ministry’s keenness on including the private sector to carry out further projects, whether in generating electricity or distributing it. This is includes in a strategy for the years to come. He revealed mismanagement of Electric General Corporation so that the private sector will manage electric projects in the rural because it approved success.
According to al-Suqatri, every country needs the help of the private sector to cover the power demand because the government alone is not able do this. "Even rich country needs the help of the private sector and that the case in gulf countries."
He indicated that the power shortage has reached 250 megawatt during last summer and that this summer, with entering Mareb 1into the service, will be reduced to 180 megawatt. He explained that by entering Mareb 1 the service, the ministry will dispense 80 megawatt from Agrreko.
He affirmed that power problem is chronic and is accumulation of years of neglect. Since nearly 20 years, no single project for constructing a station has been carried out and the country depends on diesel and steam stations entered the service two decades ago while there increasing demand for energy ranging from 9-10 percent.
He criticized the electric strategy approved by the government last summer. The 15 years long strategy which extends until 2025 suggests that the real demand for electricity is only 5,000 megawatt. He said this energy will not be enough comparing the great demand so that the study was not based on real demand of electricity.
"This power will not be enough to cover the consumption; the country will work hard during the forthcoming years to solve this problem."
Concerning bought energy, Minister al-Suqatri said this is one of the solution to fill the gap in electricity and that a number of tenders have been made recently for this purpose. Egyptian Al-Ahram Company won the bid to buy 50 megawatt of energy in Hudeida and Al-Saqr company won a bid to supply Aden with 20 megawatt of energy in addition to another company which will supply Hadramout with 40 megawatt.
Over renewable energy, Minster of Electricity and Energy Awadh al-Suqatri reviewed a plan to utilize natural resources; wind power, sun, heat and steam, saying the future will witness carrying out a number of projects from these resources. Nearly 1000 solar panels, which produce electricity from the sun, will be distributed to rural areas where there are remote houses scattered on hills of mountains.
Government, World Bank and Islamic Bank for Development will finance this project. The project costs USD 9 million. This kind of energy is costing but it is saver than any other type to these areas.
In reference to energy produced by wind energy, al-Suqatri said this kind of energy is the cheapest, the nearest and applicable. He indicated that the ministry has prepared a study over constructing a wind farm with output of 60 megawatt in Bab al-Mandab and Mocha area. This project will be supplied by Donors, World Bank and Islamic Bank for Development.
He also noted that there are intentions to construct wind electric stations via investment to be announced about when they agreed with investors. There is also coordination with concerned parities to dig a well in Jabal Allessi in Dhamar to investigate the quantity of the steam there and then completing the procedures.
Wind energy is the most applicable kind of renewable energy, followed by solar, heat and nuclear energy.
He indicated that a number of tenders have been approved for the private projects of energy for supplying the national network with 450 megawatt to be generated by gas and mazot to face the energy shortage. These projects will start next year.
He indicated that during the next year, his ministry will start installing prepaid meters in a number of modern areas in line with the new electric law approved recently. In rural areas, system of electric collective meters will enter next year and will target 10,000 consumers in coordination with local societies.
He said the ministry has installed 130 prepaid meters in the past and this service will be improved in the future. But he said this system is still limited and unapplied in some countries, indicating that it is difficult to apply this system on 1.5 million consumers.
Electricity minister talked about a plan to reduce electric loss from 26 to 20 percent to extend to 2013, noting that the ministry will present a detailed report to the cabinet on the performance regarding the process of collecting, debt and electric loss.
Regarding, random access to electricity in some areas, he said this happened as a result of citizens’ ignorance and connivance of some employees in the ministry or in the electricity corporation. He affirmed the ministry has a plan to correct this situation despite difficulties due to citizens’ believe that they have the right to get the electricity free of charge.
He revealed that random access to electricity causes many dangers and affects the national economy. Fire incidents, damaging home tools and loss of electricity are all problems resulted by irregular access to electricity.
Over dept of electricity, the minister al-Suqatri said is estimated at nearly one third of sales worth YR 63 billion annually. He noted that the ministry intends to solve this issue.
It is worth to mention that the ministry has prepared a plan to carry out projects with a total cost of USD 2.9 billion for the period 2009-2012, included in 2009-2015 plan which targets carrying out 70 projects with the total cost of USD 3, 9 billion. The plan focused on ending electric shortage and ending repeated blackouts.
Minister of Electricity and Energy and board chairman of the British Manj Company Ken Johns signed a Memorandum of Understanding in field generating wind power in Yemen. According to the memo, the company would make a feasibility study regarding generating power by means of wind energy with output of 1000 Megawatt during the five forthcoming years.
The memo also includes that the company provides suggestions on the supply according to the study results. The World Bank has carried out such a study for generating wind power in Mocha with capacity of 15 Megawatt. Johns expressed aspiration to invest in this field in Yemen, noting that the feasibility study would clarify cost, prices and time of implementing the project.