Aug. 7 (UPI) -- North Korean state agencies have begun to use wind and solar energy to generate electricity for their offices, according to sources who spoke to South Korean news service NK Economy on Wednesday.
Sources said North Korean propaganda service Arirang Maeari's report regarding the installation of solar panels and wind power generators at a flood and storm water management agency on the country's western coast is drawing strong interest among North Koreans.
North Koreans working at the coastal agency have been able to generate sufficient electricity to meet their needs through wind and solar energy, according to Arirang Maeari.
The agency had to previously use three power generators in order to produce hundreds of kilowatts of capacity. The generators have been replaced with alternative energy, according to North Korea state propaganda.
Electricity is scarce in North Korea, and blackouts are reportedly common even in the capital, Pyongyang, according to diplomats who previously lived in the city. The state's primary source of electricity is hydropower and coal.
North Korea under Kim Jong Un has called for research into renewable energy resources, and an institute with more than 180 North Korean researchers may have been commissioned in 2018 to study wind, solar and hydropower.
Kim has said in public speeches science and industry are areas key to North Korea's economic development.
Korean Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Wednesday an exposition took place to mark the 60th anniversary of the Han Duk Su Pyongyang Light Industry University.
Exhibitors showcased a range of North Korean projects in light industry, including "innovations in soybean cultivation," and bottle-washing nozzles, according to the Rodong.