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Stand Alone Solar (SAS) Market Update: Somalia

 

Somalia is a federal state made of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), the five Federal Member States (FMS) of Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South-West and Jubbaland, and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland. The decentralised system has yielded benefits in terms of operationalising public and other development activities but created notable constitutional problems.1 With the elections yet to take place (they were scheduled for December 2020 and February 2021) the current government is now acting as a caretaker. This means that most public activities are on hold until a new government is elected.

Despite government fiscal activities improving, including major debt relief by international creditors, the economy, which was expected to grow at an annualised rate of 3.2 per cent in 2020, has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic reduced trade and remittances by almost 50 per cent. The effects of the pandemic were exacerbated by the extended flooding, cyclones and locust plague experienced in the last 24 months, thus negatively impacting the socioeconomic lives of many citizens.2,3 The FGS, for the first time, provided some direct household financial assistance to a small portion of the population.

The stand-alone solar (SAS) market in the country has the potential for steady growth over the next half decade, driven by mobile money, a large unelectrified market, and a vibrant private sector.Current estimates, mainly from unverified data collected from existing projects such as the Somalia Electricity Access Project (SEAP), show that small SAS systems sales have grown over the last two years, while larger productive use system sales remained flat. A nationwide consumer awareness campaign commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEWR) for 2021 strives to address some demand-side barriers such as understanding of product quality and financing options.

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