By Sami Zaptia.
London, 14 September 2020:
- Municipality leads the way to solar power use
- Seeks Islamic/ Murabaha loans for purchase of domestic solar systems
- Jumhouria bank has specialized Islamic/ Murabaha Department
- Jumhouria bank is a state bank and Libya’s largest bank
- Beginnings of cultural change towards solar power use
- Central government not taking lead
- Crippling and continuous power cuts over last 9 years
- Power cuts forcing cultural change towards solar use
- Hay Al-Andalus is experimenting with solar streetlighting
- Plans to install 1,000 in phases
During a meeting today between the Municipality of Hay al-Andalus and the Islamic Banking Department of the state-owned and largest Libyan bank, Jumhouria Bank regarding bank loans for domestic solar systems.
The Municipality asked the Islamic Banking Department of the bank to come up with a proposal for an Islamic-compliant ‘‘Murabaha’’ loan for a domestic solar set up to enable the average household in its Municipality to use solar energy for electricity.
The private solar company that the Municipality has been using for its solar streetlighting experiment advised that the lowest solar system for an average home would require 5 KV of power and batteries with a 5-year guarantee. This solar set up would provide power for 11 to 20 hours depending on consumption.
It will be recalled that there is very minimal use of domestic solar systems to power water heaters, lights, televisions, fridges and ACs etc, unlike neighbouring country Tunisia. This is a result of Libya’s ultra-low fuel and electricity prices due to very high state subsidies. These low prices have acted as a disincentive for the take-up of solar powered systems in Libya – despite its geographical location and high number of hours of sunshine.
However, there is beginning to be a change in culture in the attitude towards the use of solar power due to the crippling power cuts over the last nine years. Notably, it a Municipality – local government – that is leading this cultural change, and not the central government.
Solar-powered streetlight experiment
The Municipality of Hay Al-Andalus had announced on 9 September the installation of six solar-powered streetlights installed on streetlighting poles with a capacity of 200-watts.
The Municipality reported that the solar streetlights complied with the specifications of the state General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL).
It explained that the six solar streetlights are a preliminary experiment installed in cooperation with a local company specialising in the field of solar energy.
Furthermore, the Municipality had revealed that it plans soon to install 500 streetlights on its roads in the first phase and another 500 in the second phase.