11 April 2015, Yaoundé – Experts from the Ministry of Water and Energy Resources and South Korea have met in Yaounde to fine-tune and exchange notes on how to put in place a master plan for renewable energy development in Cameroon. The South Korean project, under its cooperation agency, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, KOICA, seeks to develop renewable energy resources like solar, wind, biomass and small-hydro.
The meeting came in the wake of a trip carried out by experts from Dohwa Engineering, KOICA staff, MINEE and Economy and Planning ministries to the Centre, East, Littoral, South West and West Regions to explore sites with high potential for hosting equipment to produce energy resources.
Feasibility studies involve a survey in small hydro energy with the selection of five venues with focus on observation of speed, flows, rainfall and water levels while solar energy had the same selection points with observation on duration and amount of sunshine. The wind energy came out with only one site with observation on wind speed and direction while biomass was more complex with results obtained on adapting global national biomass data.
The Resident Representative of KOICA for Cameroon, Kim Tae Young, said renewable energy is environmentally-friendly and the implementation of the project will be an additional solution to energy problems in Cameroon. The project implementation consists of assessing development potential, establishing of a viable master plan, training of Cameroonian officials and the organisation of joint workshops.
The Ministry of Water and Energy Resources says, less than one per cent of the country’s potential in renewable energy is in use. The ministry says partnering with advanced economies like Korea can be a panacea. The Director of Renewable Energy in MINEE, Richard Balla, said 70 per cent of the country’s population lives in rural areas and taking into account the ongoing decentralisation process, the development of renewable energy was indispensable. He described the master plan as a foundation which determines the country’s energy potential and how it will further be distributed.
*Victorine Biy Nfor-Cameroun Tribune