In HE President Macky Sall’s government and African Union leadership role, climate change mitigation has found a strong leader, but as the COP27 summit in Egypt approaches in November, Senegal and the continent Africa will be honored with regard to the work carried out in favor of energy transition and renewable energies. energy development. The problem is urgent – in Senegal alone, extreme water events and pollution have cost the country 10% of its GDP and internal climate migration is expected to reach 1 million people by 2050. But adopting the solar, wind, hydro and other green energy sources of energy have proportionally increased in line with the dire situation, following HE President Sall’s exemption from VAT tariffs on solar panels and related technologies , in 2020.
This year’s MSGBC oil, gas and power conference in Dakar is poised to set an inclusive and sustainable narrative for African energy, embracing the low-carbon transition with delegates and speakers covering the entire energy value chain, from technology to service providers, from policy to investment and at a time when the West African region is leading the world for green energy. Senegal will join the G7 this month as it prepares for a bilateral energy transition partnership agreement with Germany, while planning key energy exports to Europe. Here are the main renewable developments to watch in the country in the coming year.
Last year alone, Senegal added 60 MW of solar generation capacity through the World Bank‘s Scaling Solar program with some of the lowest energy prices in sub-Saharan Africa – less than 4 cents per kWh. This year, a farming community in the port city of St. Louis benefited from a pilot solar pump system that saw the signing of a $2.4 million partnership to install 2,000 pumps similar to across Senegal over the next three years. And last week saw the inauguration of a $21.4 million, 23 MW solar power plant in Diass, 40 km from Dakar, supplying 33,000 Senegalese homes with electricity and saving SENELEC 2, $77 million per year in fuel costs over its 25-year lifespan. At present, Senegal has 112 MW of solar installations, but with 90% of its territory having a globally significant photovoltaic capacity of 1,600 to 1,800 kWh/year, this figure is expected to increase in the coming years. come.
Senegal is home to the largest wind farm in West Africa with the Taiba N’Diaye facility located 108 km northeast of Dakar. This wind farm has 46 Vestas V126 turbines spread over 40 hectares generating 158.7 MW or 400 GWh each year, supplying 2 million people with electricity and mitigating 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Taiba N’Diaye is owned and operated by Lekela, a British renewable energy development company which holds a 20-year power purchase agreement with SENELEC, signed in 2013. The engineering, procurement and construction of station were awarded to Vestas, a Danish wind turbine. manufacturer, in 2018, with a 20-year operation and maintenance contract. The three-phase construction reached commercial commissioning in December last year, increasing Senegal’s national power generation capacity by 15%, feeding into the grid through the Tobene substation. In December 2021, Lekela also received funding from the US International Development Finance Corporation to carry out feasibility studies for the addition of an additional 100 MW capacity and additional battery storage beyond the already 175 MWh. installed.
In March, the World Bank pledged $150 million for Senegal’s Energy Access Improvement Project, connecting 200,000 homes to the grid and bringing new energy to regional communities through renewables. But as recent years have shown, Senegal is moving on its own towards a zero-carbon energy network. The MSGBC oil, gas and power conference to be held in the country in September will emphasize this while catalyzing the sharing of best practices among stakeholders and nations in the region, concluding new investment agreements for projects through African and European investment delegations and by developing strong transnational partnerships to support the adoption of renewable energy. Already, Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea are combining resources and expertise within the Senegal River Development Agency, generating 800 GWh of hydroelectricity shared between the nations each year. And with both policy reforms and the economics of renewables, there has never been a more attractive time or platform to see West African power go green, leading the world at COP27 and beyond.