Syria plans PV workshop
Syria is planning a workshop on rural electrification that will focus
mainly on PV.
© PV Lab/SSRC-Syria
A 10 kW PV station for pumping and desalinating
brackish water via reverse osmosis in the village of
Riyadh Sabouni of PV Lab, the
government's solar agency in Damascus, says the workshop will take
place sometime in late 2002, although an exact date has not been set.
Sabouni expects members of Syrian government ministries - electricity,
agriculture, irrigation, housing - to attend, as well as speakers on
renewable energy from abroad.
Syria began to introduce PV in 1995 when the Japanese government
funded a $10 million project through the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA). Finished last year, the project centered on
Zarzita, now known in Syria as the Solar Village. It includes a 36 kW
centralized PV system, 17.5 kW of solar home systems (SHS) on 53
houses, and a 5 kW PV pump for drinking water. Two more desalination
pump units equal to another 10 kW were installed in Kalif in 1998. A
1997 United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project supported by
JICA, which ends this year, helped to set up the government's PV Lab.
In 1996, the Indian PV cell and module manufacturer Central
Electronics Ltd. (CEL) built a factory with a 100 kW annual production
capacity for the Syrian government, where PV Lab produces modules
using CEL cells and charge controllers. Other PV Lab projects include
designing and assembling PV systems for navigational aids on the
Syrian coast, and modules for earthquake monitoring stations. In all,
Sabouni estimates that Syria has 80 kW of installed PV capacity.
Sabouni says PV Lab and the UNDP office in Damascus are pushing for a
new PV program involving SHS, pumps, and possibly a mini-grid for
rural electrification. So far, he says, nothing has materialized.
© PHOTON International, July 2002