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Date : June 11, 2012
Solar generator gains popularity around Pyongyang following severe fuel shortages.
North Korea has long been suffering from chronic fuel shortages since the economic collapse of the 1990s. Even the regime’s well-to-do capital, Pyongyang, faces severe blackouts and electricity is provided less than 4 hours each day.

Due to the worsening electricity shortages, Pyongyang’s elites are actively seeking self-sustainable Chinese-made solar panels and chargers to overcome the problem. According to an Open North Korea source, upper class citizens often request solar chargers from entrepreneurs and diplomats who have access to the outside markets. Furthermore, North Koreans are increasingly dependent on solar generators as poor power supply hampers the use of electronic devices; especially cell phones, which were authorized only a few years ago.

A source verified that “Pyongyang’s residents are rather pessimistic about the future of the fuel supply. Therefore, they are increasingly looking  for self-sufficient energy sources”. The source added, “The extremely wealthy often install these devices on their apartments in Pyongyang. It costs about $4,000 USD”.

A price of $4,000 USD is extremely costly in North Korea, but the demand for solar panels continues to grow. Additionally, as news of the generators spreads to the countryside, the popularity of the solar generators has skyrocketed.

In the meantime, areas outside of Pyongyang are experiencing even more difficulty. During the winter season, the daily power supplies evaporate and inhabitants endure as long as 7 to 30 days without power in freezing cold. Introducing self-sustainable generators is an urgent issue since fuel shortages prohibit the use of electronic devices and appliances and North Koreans spend their lives in dark.  

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