Commissioner for the Energy Transition Commission of the United Nations, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella has said that Sierra Leone needs robust energy policies to help strengthen the country’s energy sector and foster economic development.

Kandeh Yumkella

Dr. Yumkella made this statement during a public lecture organized by the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers to discuss eminent issues regarding the “Socio-Economic and Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy Technology Project in developing countries”.

The program held on the 4th of February 2016 at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown attracted aspiring Engineers and politicians.

As the guest speaker, he outlined some of the challenges and socio-economic impact of renewable energy especially in developing countries, emphasizing that with a robust energy policy a government can be able to meet with the demanding challenges of energy globally.

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Dr. Yumkella suggest that in Sierra Leone, the government needs to restructure its polices by combing energy and mining policies together to help collaborate their affairs and with that the government will be able to generate income by enabling the energy ministry to provide these mining companies with electricity supply instead of generating their own supplies noting that mining companies should be held responsible to contribute immensely to the country’s growth.

He also mentioned that government needs to embark on sensitizing and educating the populace about the dangers of using biomass fuel like wood, coal, oil on the environment stating that it is one of major caused of climate change “if we continue to produce energy this way temperature will raise and there will be catastrophe”. He said the use of renewable energy like solar, green gas can help the country developed and also will help protect the environment and reduce the risk of climate change therefore he urged sierra Leoneans to change their perception about the use of renewable energy and start embracing it “it is the future for development”.

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KKY as he is commonly called said as a politician and an aspiring candidate for the Sierra Leone People’s party leadership he will make renewable energy as part of his campaign to sensitize the people and also to encourage the government to invest more on renewable energy noting that one of his priority will be sustainable energy for all Sierra Leoneans, greatly improve on sector governance, clear policy on renewable energy, skills development in the whole value chain and work amicably with the private sector to improve on energy distribution and development.

He said the government should target to double grid connection from 120,000 households to 240,000 households, triple generation from 100 megawatts to 300 megawatts installed capacity and this capacity he added 30 megawatts should be in the form of renewable energy.