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Solar Energy To Substitute Hydro Electricity 

By Leocadia Bongben

Environment experts are currently making efforts at using solar energy as an alternative source of energy to solve the problem of electricity shortage in the country.

To them, if more Cameroonians use solar energy to light their houses, the constant problem of electricity rationing would be a thing of the past.
One of the experts, Christian Gyr, argued that even in areas where it rains a lot, it suffices to get bigger batteries that can charge for two, three days.
He said just a little sun light is enough to charge the batteries in humid zones. 

In order to practically demonstrate the importance of solar energy, the Centre Pour L’environnement et le Development, CED, in collaboration with and international NGO, Greenpeace, trained some 40 Cameroonians on the construction of equipment using solar energy, amongst which are the solar cooker, solar drier and solar torches.

An exposition was therefore, organised at the Foyer International of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon on Saturday, June 20 to sensitise the public on the need for an alternative source of energy that is environment friendly.

Christian said that the solar drier, with the aid of a solar plate, absorbs sun rays and transform it into solar energy. He said the drier can dry fruits within a period of ten days such that the taste remains intact and can prevent post-harvest losses of seasonal fruits like mangoes, pineapple, pawpaw, plums, amongst others.

“With the solar cooker, domestic gas preserved on sunny days can be used on wet days,” experts assured.
He explained that the main limitation of solar energy is that most activity to be performed is dependent on the availability of the sun.

Another expert, Nadine Mballa, said there is need to promote and reconcile man to his environment in this era of challenges such as climate change.
She argued that solar energy is clean, silent and has no environmental effect, reasons why it could be the best alternative to electricity.

Though the issue of cost of equipment to the new energy source remains an issue as a number of Cameroonians might not be able to afford, the environment experts maintained that they have been lobbying to have the government subsidise the solar energy equipment.

The experts argued that exoneration from the payment of custom duties on the importation of solar equipment would break the system.
Rather, he suggests that the non renewable energy should be heavily taxed to make solar energy much cheaper. 

Gyr stated that though an organisation known as Greenpeace, based in 44 countries, has subsidised solar energy equipment to FCFA 200,000, the amount still appears to be very expensive and needs to be reduced to about FCFA 100,000.

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