The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has claimed that 20 percent of the electricity produced in the Kurdistan Region is clean and renewable while affirming that this number is set to increase within the decade.
“20 percent of electricity production is through clean and renewable energy,” said the KRG’S Ministry of Electricity.
The Kurdistan Region sees its fair share of electricity cuts and power shortages, a reality that is deemed unacceptable by the Region’s citizens due to the area being rich in natural resources such as oil and gas.
The concept of 24-hour electricity remains unfamiliar to the Region’s locals, who often lament the insufficient power supply, especially in the brutally hot summer months when temperatures often surpass the 50 degrees Celsius mark.
Alongside the statement, the electricity ministry claimed that it plans to more than double the Kurdistan Region’s renewable energy production by 2028. “In the next six years, the Kurdistan Region’s electricity production through clean and renewable energy will reach about 50% of electricity production,” it said.
The Kurdistan Region and Iraq rely mainly on fossil fuels to generate electricity, a method often considered by environmentalists as harmful and outdated.
In September, the United States consul general Irvin Hicks Jr. inaugurated a solar panel product in the Region’s capital of Erbil, which reportedly provides 200kW of clean energy for the Region’s consumption.
Iraq also depends on importing natural gas from Iran in a bid to keep the lights on in the country, and an increase in solar panels would also reduce the country’s cost of importing gas. Gas flaring is also a major nuisance in the Kurdistan Region, with residents that live close to flaring sites often suffering from deteriorating health. The Region's flaring directive deadline to phase out gas flaring is fast approaching, and data suggests that the KRG is unlikely to meet the deadline.
The flaring process is when oil wells burn the excess gas they can't store or use, and is a convenient way to deal with the waste product known as associated petroleum gas. The KRG has until 2023 to comply with its commitment to phase out flaring across the Region.