Kabul Khan Tadbir
Energy crisis in Afghanistan has been on increase from decades as the energy demands of our fellow citizens exceeded the supply sources. There was a dire need of a national platform to employ the newest trend of Renewable Energy to resolve the energy shortage using natural means. The initiatives for the renewable energy were commenced in the year 2003, when the MEW (Ministry of Energy & Water) supported private stakeholders to formulate the regulations for RE generations and supply. The regulations were formed but lacked the international standards for the various aspects of the RE generation and supply tariff rates to the consumers which, in following decade, led to the ultimate decline. It was in 2013, when the AREU was established under the resolution passed by Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. Prior to formation of AREU, the energy distribution was only 20%. At present, 32% of the population has access to energy. Currently, 80% of available energy is imported and 20% is being generated from the internal sources, therefore there are numerous opportunities and a favorable market for investment. Afghanistan has huge sources for energy production including about 300 solar days a year, suitable zones for wind energy and cities with large quantity of waste such as Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kunduz which gives the possibility of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) source. The AREU helps its members build commercially and environmentally sustainable businesses whilst increasing the contribution of renewable energy to the Afghanistan’s electricity, heat, transport and green gas needs. The AREU’s main objective is to secure the best legislative and regulatory framework for expanding renewable energy production in Afghanistan. We undertake policy development and provide input to government departments, agencies, regulators, NGOs and others. We stand at our objective to play a leading role in transforming the Afghanistan’s energy infrastructure and in sustainable energy, while focusing on having a strong balance sheet, remunerating our stakeholders appropriately, and constantly seeking growth opportunities. AREU is experiencing a new phase of growth in which it expects not only to create value for all its stakeholders but also to contribute addressing the major challenges and transformations being faced by the consumers. I am grateful to all of you including the founding members, the relevant ministries of GoIRA and the RE stakeholders for the establishment of AREU (Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union). AREU has marked a turning point for the energy sector and has been providing invaluable services to uplift our country from current energy crisis and by committing to promote Alternate Renewable Energy in the country.