SEOUL-- North Korea's media outlets are shedding light on nationwide efforts to develop new energy sources in the face of chronic power shortages.

North Korea is known to be entirely dependent on coal-based and hydraulic power generation. In 2013, the North enacted an energy act encouraging the generation and effective use of renewable energy sources, including solar power and geothermal power.

In his New Year's Day address, leader Kim Jong-un called for more efforts to utilize diverse energy sources.

The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling party, on Monday reported on a professor at Kim Il-sung University, saying that he had around 20 papers on renewable energy cited in global academic journals and had taken part in various symposiums.

The North's Central Broadcasting Station also aired an interview with a deputy energy minister on Sunday in which he said that the government is working on developing diverse energy sources, including solar power and hydraulic power stations.

Power generation by using rice bran, a byproduct of the rice milling process, and heat from spa water were also cited as part of energy diversification efforts.

DPRK Today, another propaganda outlet, earlier reported on around 140 solar power panels set up in North Korea's western port city of Nampo, claiming that they could power some 100 computers simultaneously.

Source: Yonhap News Agency