Presided over by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources Mr. Fritz Gerald Nasako, the meeting was an initiative of the African Network for Solar Energy (ANSOLE), created in 2010 with an objective to encourage the widespread utilization of Solar Energy.

Asked what Solar Energy Professionals in Cameroon are doing to address the problem of the very high cost of Renewable Energy (RETs) and Energy Efficiency Technologies in Cameroon, Mr. Daniel Egbe, promoter of the event explained that in 5 to 10 years, many Cameroonians shall have access to Solar Energy. He regretted that it is clear that solar panels still have a very high cost in Cameroon but that Solar Energy Professionals in Cameroon are working hard within the Network to reduce the costs RETs.

To demonstrate the importance of this new form of energy, Professor Kapseu, Representative of ANSOLE for the Central African Region declared at the meeting that sun rays produce within one hour, our annual consumption the world round.

Solar energy as well as biomass and hydropower are the type of renewable energies that the Cameroon Government wants to develop within the framework of its sustainable development strategy in order to increase its energy offer to rural settings. Presently, the country exploits only hydro and thermal electricity with an annual production of 1022MW.

According to Mr. Fritz Gerald Nasako, the coming of ANSOLE will be an opportunity to federate private initiatives of the energy sector to improve access and availability of this new form of energy to the majority of low income rural populations which do not have access to any form of electricity.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the final consumption of solar energy in Cameroon in 2010 has been calculated to be 1500 MW. This consumption has shown a steady annual growth rate for the past three years. Solar energy in Cameroon has been used mostly for lighting, crops drying, cooking, battery charging and entertainment. Unfortunately, Funders and manufacturers of RETs are reluctant to support or invest in the RETs market in Cameroon. At the moment, there is only one utility in the Country, AES/SONEL that generates and distributes electricity from hydropower to the 19,600,000 Cameroonians. Of this population, only 20 percent have access to electricity principally along the highways and urban Centers.

By Tawah Glenis (ORIRUDEV)
Yaounde April 1, 2011