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Dylan Morton CM 1905

ME408-01
1/26/16
Project 2 Part A
1. Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign
aid. Due to two decades of warfare, the power grid has been badly damaged.
As of 2012, approximately of the Afghan population has access to electricity.
Afghanistan generates around 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity mainly from
hydropower followed by fossil fuel and solar. The agricultural sector has seen
improvement, but much of the population suffers from shortages of housing,
clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, weak
governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in
extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future
economic growth. The government is classified as an Islamic republic, with
features similar to a democracy. Afghanistan's living standards are among the
lowest in the world; Afghanistan imports roughly 3 billion of its 3.89 billion
kWh of electricity consumption [1].
2. In general, Afghanistan could benefit from renewable energy, but solar in
particular. The sun could be used for water purification in a solar thermal
setting. An absorption refrigeration cycle could aid in the population in
cooling homes. Officials from Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS)
estimate that the country will need around 3,000 MW to meet its needs by
2020. Some factories in Kabul can barely operate at 50% capacity due to
there being a shortage of industrial power [3]. Solar ovens could help families
cook their foods.
3. Located in Southern Asia, northwest of Pakistan and East of Iran, Afghanistan
is a land locked nation, which means that tidal energy is unviable. Currently a
major majority of the renewable energy produced within the nation comes
from hydroelectric dams. With rugged mountains that run northeast to
southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the
highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor). There are
limited freshwater resources, leading to an inadequate supply of drinking
water. The area suffers from soil degradation, overgrazing, deforestation,
desertification, as well as pollution of the air and water. The climate is arid to
semiarid, with cold winters and hot summers. The air speeds all across
Afghanistan are inconsistent, leading to an equally inconsistent opportunity
for wind energy. With over 11 hour of sunlight every day in Kabul, solar
energy seems to be a viable source of renewable energy for the nation [2].
4. Renewable energy solutions could be influenced by the petroleum products
derived in such large quantities in Afghanistan; however, there is a large
movement currently for energy derived from renewable means, including
solar and wind sources.

Bibliography:
[1] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html
[2] http://www.gaisma.com/en/location/kabul.html
[3] http://www.npr.org/2012/07/02/156119309/lack-of-electricity-dims-afghaneconomic-prospects

Figure 1: Geography of Afghanistan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Figure 2: Solar Insolation of Afghanistan (USAID, 2007)