Renewable energy can reduce poverty: Trittin [Archives:2004/732/Community]

April 26 2004

In a press briefing on Wednesday, April 21 in Sanaa, German Environment Minister, Mr Jurgen Trittin, said that poverty and economic hardships can be reduced if renewable energy sources are used more widely. He said that with less expensive means to generate power to households and companies, less will be spent on electricity, causing an overall decrease in prices. “This in turn, will help poor families lead a better life”, Mr. Trittin said.
Being one of the poorest countries in the world, Mr. Trittin mentioned that Yemen can benefit tremendously from renewable energy sources, especially by installing such facilities in rural areas to produce better infrastructure and higher living standards, which would in turn reduce migration to cities and hence help reduce burdens on electricity generators for the major Yemeni cities.
Besides poverty, Mr. Trittin pointed out that pollution and the use of natural resources will also be reduced if proper alternative energy sources are developed and used.

Renewable energy for Yemen
Mr. Trittin also said during the briefing that Yemen is now looking into bids by German companies to build a thermal gas station that could produce up to 300 Megawatts of power. He added that smaller-scale projects using solar energy are also being developed throughout the country.
The German Ambassador to Yemen said that German-produced solar energy solutions have already been installed in Yemen and have proven quite successful. Among them is a whole school in Ibb that uses solar energy instruments installed by Germans to produce electricity for all the school's needs. “Happily I can say that the school has been using this electricity supply since 1999 without a glitch.” he said.
Mr. Trittin also added that Euro 500 million has been allocated to countries that need decentralized energy supplies. Yemen will gain a portion of this amount upon completing a strategy for reforming energy in rural areas. This strategy will now be carried out with support from the German government with a budget of Euro 1 million.

Solar water heating system at the embassy
Meanwhile, the German Minister along with Yemeni Minister of Water and Environment, Mr. Mohamed AL-Iryani, inaugurated the German embassy's own solar water heating system at the embassy in Sanaa. The Minister expressed delight that the embassy took this step to demonstrate that alternative energy sources can indeed be practical and can be useful for regular citizens as well as others.

Successful visit concluded
The German Minister also disclosed to the Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulqadir Ba Jammal that he would push for the inclusion of water and the environment in the agenda of the next annual bilateral meeting as issues of top concern.
The Prime Minister spoke highly of Germany's support to Yemen in the field of water and sanitation, a move that mitigated substantial environmental problems in Yemen.