The Power of Nature: How Renewable Energy is Changing Lives in Afghanistan

Sep 13, 2017

A computer lab in Bamian City, powered by a UNDP Micro Hydro Power plant.

The whole world is embracing wind energy, and plants can be found everywhere today. UNDP is working with the Afghan Government's Rural Development Ministry and local communities to embrace this clean and sustainable source of power.

According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, Afghanistan has the potential to produce 67,000 megawatts of electricity from wind energy, 220,000 megawatts electricity from solar energy, 4,000 megawatts of clean energy from biomass and 23,000 megawatts of electricity from water resources annually.

In the past 15 years, UNDP has implemented several renewable energy projects across the country, helping more than 500,000 people to have access to clean energy.

A wind power project set up by UNDP changed the lives of people in Sang-e-Nawishta, a suburb to the south of Kabul. The project has two wind turbines that generate enough energy to bring light and clean water to every home.

Nangarhar University, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is the second largest University in Afghanistan. Covering a massive 40 hectares of land and serving 15,000 students, its tree-lined avenues stretch on for miles. But at night, the avenues were pitch black, leaving students and professors alike feeling unsafe. Public spaces were empty, and no one spent much time outside. UNDP and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme light Nangarhar University’s streets with 180 solar Panels.

In the past 10 years, UNDP Afghanistan has implemented nearly 100 small solar projects throughout Afghanistan. moreover, UNDP Afghanistan has implemented 44 biogas plants across the country and they have all been proven successful. Over the last decade, UNDP has built 240 micro hydropower plants across the country. A micro hydropower plant built by UNDP in Piawasht village in Panjsher turns the power of a local river into electricity to light homes, as well as the local school and clinic.

For more details on Afghanistan’s capacity of producing clean energy and UNDP’s major achievement in this area, please watch UNDP’s Farhad Zalmai interview with Aghaz Roz morning show of Ariana Television Network (ATN)

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