Sunday, March 11, 2012

10 Muslim Countries explore solar enery

By Shahfizal Musa
BANGI – 23 July  2010 - Some 20 participants from 10 countries attending a workshop/seminar on solar electricity for rural areas at UKM had practical hands on training on how to make solar panels to generate electricity.
At the end of the session they will each have a solar panel of their own to take home as a momento.
They had taken part in the Third Asian Forum on Solar Electricity for Rural Areas aimed at putting the power to generate electricity in the hands of those who needed it most. The knowledge they had gained in the four day workshop/seminar  will be taken home where they will hopefully developed solar energy in their home land on a micro scale.  
The workshop was organised by Solar Energy (SERI) Research Institute of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in collaboration with UNESCO and Islamic Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). 
Prof Dr Kamaruzzaman Sopian, the Director of SERI said solar technology is very easy to install and can be done by practically anybody. The organisers hope the participants willl take back what they had learnt and apply it in their countries.  
The participants were from Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Brunei, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Libya. Some sizeable population of many of these Muslim countries still lack electricity supply with some not having highly developed power grids to supply electricity to a majority of the populace. These countries also have clear sunlight.  
Electricity is a basic need for human development yet the majority of the Muslim world is still being deprived of this basic right where people in remote areas are still using kerosene and wood for lighting. Thus solar energy could meet some of the needs to bring light to their life.    
Prof Saleem Zaidi from Gratings Incorporated and who is partly responsible for setting up the cottage industry in Cendering Terenganu with UKM Solar Energy Research Institute said, 
“The Solar Photo Voltaic panel must be made indigenous, where people who need the technology the most must be equipped with the technology to make solar panels, this can only be done by reversing the process of Solar technology into a cottage industry.  PV Technology Combines Silicon, Oxygen and sun all found abundantly free.” 
The know-how of making solar panels will solve the problem of lack of electricity in rural areas like in Africa and Pakistan.  
“Solar energy can be generated at the point of use so long as there is sunlight. The power source is free you don’t need miles and miles of cable to channel the power to your house. Because of this it is highly useful in under developed areas and in developing countries where the power grid is not extensive enough to cover many rural and remote areas” said Dr Saleem. 
Dr Kamaruzzaman and Dr Saleem were responsible for the setting up of a cottage industry producing solar panels by villagers in Cendering, Terengganu some of which had been exported to Bangladesh. 


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