Powering up Shirqat

Iraqi businessperson brings solar power to rural homes in Salah Al-Din

SHIRQAT – A business owner in Salah Al-Din’s Shirqat district and its surrounding villages is at the forefront of a local clean energy movement. Hamad Jasim, director of Megawatt Solar Energy Services, has been instrumental in the installation of solar panels in over 650 homes and 15 agricultural projects.

Jasim employs social media to promote solar energy, emphasizing its environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness. Prices for systems start at under two million Iraqi dinars ($1350), increasing to four million based on size.

He explains to clients that although the upfront costs may appear significant, they compare to 18 months of generator use, while solar panels offer clean and silent energy for up to 15 years.

Jasim began his journey with solar energy in February 2023 by installing a system in his own home. Impressed by its efficiency, he decided to expand the initiative to his community.

“Seeing the system’s effectiveness, people became interested,” Jasim commented. “Since then, we’ve introduced solar power to more than 650 homes in the district.”

The village of Jumaila has fully embraced solar energy, with Jasim being the exclusive provider in the Shirqat region. He has also equipped 15 agricultural projects with solar panels.

Jasim attributes the rising interest in solar energy to several factors: limited access to generators in rural areas, increasing awareness of clean energy benefits among the younger demographic, and his effective marketing campaign.

“People sometimes hesitate to invest in the systems due to high upfront costs,” Jasim acknowledged. “But they don’t realize it’s equivalent to a year and a half of generator fees.”

Despite the potential for long-term savings, Jasim still underscores the importance of judicious energy use, noting that overconsumption can deplete and damage the batteries.