According to the IOM, the solar panels will reduce the diesel fuel usage of the IOM-managed humanitarian hub in Malakal, South Sudan, by up to 90 percent | Photo: IOM/Angela Wells
According to the IOM, the solar panels will reduce the diesel fuel usage of the IOM-managed humanitarian hub in Malakal, South Sudan, by up to 90 percent | Photo: IOM/Angela Wells

The UN agency for migration IOM and Norwegian company Scatec Solar have started a collaboration to install solar panels in Malakal, South Sudan, to support the organization's humanitarian projects for displaced people in the area.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is planning to use solar energy to power a significant part of its humanitarian operations in Malakal, South Sudan, by early next year, the organization announced last month.

This would reduce diesel fuel consumption in the humanitarian hub by 80 to 90 percent, IOM said. 

Norwegian company Scatec Solar will install its solar technology at the IOM-managed humanitarian hub over the coming months. The hub houses nearly 300 humanitarian workers who provide services to almost 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the nearby Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, the agency said.

'Project can make a difference'

Scatec Solar visited Malakal last month to examine the area and start operations, IOM said. "We see that one of the challenges in Africa is that 250 gigawatts of diesel-run generators affect the environment, tend to be inefficient and very costly to run. [...] This is why we believe this project can make a difference in South Sudan," Frédéric Grosse, senior vice president of Scatec Solar, reportedly said during his visit to Malaka.  

The partners expect that some 1,900 solar panels-capable of creating up to 700-kilowatts of power-will be installed around the perimeter of the hub by December 2019. The panels absorb solar power during the day and store excess energy to power the hub after the sun sets. 

IOM pay the initial hardware and installation costs, with financial support from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID). The UN agency will then lease the batteries and panels for an annual fee for the duration of its operations in Malakal.

Clean energy in area

The project is in line with sustainable development targets set by the United Nations, said Omar Patan, who is in charge of IOM's project for the humanitarian hub: "Displacement sites can at times transform into villages, so making an investment to have sustainable energy in these locations with hot, sunny environments makes a lot of sense." 


 

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