Electricity supply in the areas of Idlib outside of Syrian government control has been hampered by the fact that these areas have been cut off from the national grid for years. Initially, people turned to reliance on household and private generators to compensate for the loss of national grid electricity, but this dependence has had its own problems such as the reliance on generator fuel coming from other parts of Syria and the associated high cost of running generators. More recently there has been the installation of solar panels, but it is expensive to purchase enough solar panels to meet all the household's electricity needs.
The company Green Energy has worked to remedy the problems of electricity supply in Idlib by importing electricity from Turkey. I was able to conduct an interview today with the engineer Osama Abu Zayd who is the executive director of Green Energy. We discussed the company's efforts to supply electricity and the electricity situation in Idlib. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: When was the Green Energy company established and is it affiliated with an official side or is it an independent company?
The Green Energy company to establish and invest in electric power projects in all their types was established in 2014 in the Syrian province of Aleppo in the name of GE Power and the works of the company are summarised in three main activities, namely:
1. Establish and implementing electric power projects.
2. Maintaining the infrastructure of the electrical networks and stations.
3. Investing in and distributing electric power.
In 2019 the company GE Power was merged with the company Green Future for investment under the name of Green Energy.
Our company has worked with all the NGOs and foundations in northern Syria in the electric power sector and its administration, despite the difficult times and circumstances that have confronted us in our course.
We are proud of employees who have high competency and work with the spirit of one team, and we are proud of the confidence granted to us by our people and the institutions working in the liberated areas. We work entirely in what we can to rebuild our land, and make available the service to our people, and realise a bright future by the permission of God.
Q: What are the most important accomplishments of the company until now? And what are the most important projects currently?
A: The company has worked on two aspects: the first aspect is building the necessary transformer stations to receive the 66 kV voltage from Turkey to Syria and build the 66 kV voltage line connecting between Turkey and the Syrian network. The other aspect focused on preparing and maintaining the high voltage networks present in the Idlib area that connect the main stations that are 7 in number. Their maintenance and preparation have required great efforts as a result of the destruction of many parts of them in addition to deliberate sabotage of them. And on completion of these stages, the focus was then on preparing the medium voltage networks and with the arrival of the voltage from Turkey, work is now being done on preparing the low voltage networks, the percentage of whose readiness is considered to be less than 10% and that is as a result of what they have been exposed to from sabotage and destruction.
The company's plan is to reach all the liberated areas in the Idlib region but gradually. And so the company will begin in the most densely populated areas that are near the transformer stations, and they are the towns of Idlib, Salqin, al-Dana and Sarmada. And on completion of their supply, we will move to the other localities and towns, and so on until we reach all the localities including the area of Jabal al-Zawiya, Jisr al-Shughur and the areas that are on the lines of contact with the areas occupied by the criminal regime.
Q: Could you speak about the electricity situation in Idlib in general? I mean for example when was the national grid electricity cut off and what have been the most important sources of electricity for people until now? And from where do you get electricity for your projects? And with the beginning of your projects for how many hours will electricity reach the most important towns in Idlib on a daily basis?
A: The electricity has been cut off since 10 years ago with the beginning of the Syrian revolution, and during the first years reliance began on the household generators. And from there began to spread the networks of amperes as one of the investors supplies the electricity network within a certain area inside the town and supplies it from his huge generator. And also after that spread heavily solar panels and batteries. The electricity we get is from Turkey. God willing the electricity will be constant, but temporarily in the city of Idlib until we finish preparing the electricity netowkr, we have supplied the ampere networks that were operating for 3 hours a day only, and we have made them work for 9 hours at the same cost. But in the future there will be meters for all and payment according to consumption.
Q: In the material sense how much will the subscriber pay for the kilowatt of electricity? And how much will be the price of an hour of electricity? And is it possible to convey the electric current to the hours present in the households or exclusively the subscribers must buy a new hour of electricity?
A: The citizen must buy a new hour of 'meter' prepaid as there are two types of meters: single-phase and triple-phase. The single-phase meter's price is 350 [Turkish] liras and the subscription fee is 100 liras. As for the triple-phase meter, its price will be 900 liras and the subscription fee 400 liras.
With regards to the price of the household kilowatt, it will be 90 qarash. As for the price of the business or industrial kilowatt, it will be 1 Turkish lira.