Senegal President Macky Sall has said that Senegal households will have electricity in the next five years during the ongoing World Economic Forum Africa in Durban, South Africa.
Senegal has achieved more success in electricity generation in the last 4 years compared to the last 54 years according to the President. The West African nation didn’t have enough electricity, until a few years back when it developed a plan to generate electricity from diverse sources, including coal and clean energy such as solar and biofuel.
An electricity regulation firm has been established by the government in Senegal from a law that was passed in 1998 to regulate electricity in the country.
The country has experienced renewable energy growth with the solar energy increasing electricity production to 20 per cent. The electricity production has increased by 40 percent.
Senegal aims to eliminate dirty sources of electricity, focus on clean energy to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution, and reduce the cost of electricity by the year 2021.
“Electricity remains very expensive. The fix costs to produce electricity & valuable costs to invest in electricity production will drive high costs of elec. They need to go low so that electricity if cheaper,” said President Macky Sall.
The President added that Africa has to think of ways to reduce costs by coming up with new solutions.
Senegal has invested in solar. The cost of solar panel has dropped, but installing is still quite high. Still the country has managed to reduce black outages from 900 hours annually six years ago to 100 hours annually due to a stronger network connection but accidents still causes problems.
Senegal is part of the African nations that have invested in electricity with the continent’s power generation growing from 2.15 terawatts of power to 10 terawatts. Still a large portion of Africa goes without power. African power outages last on average 8 hours, and most often happen during the most productive hours of the day.
According to experts in the electricity generation sector, Africa has policies that are outdated.
The continent is increasing interested in renewable energy such as Kenya’s Turkana wind energy project of 300 megawatts is nearing completion. South Africa has one of the best electricity sector in the continent, it gives 52 kilowatts of power free to households.
“It is no surprise that South Africa is the only country in Africa with nuclear energy. It’s electricity sector is the best,” said Macky Sall.
Africa needs 90 billion USD to generate electricity and 60 billion USD to distribute it according to a report by Mackenzie & company.
“We have to partner with private companies & donors to reduce the cost of electricity,” said Macky Sall, adding “we need partnerships between public and private, between different countries and interregional energy trade to achieve progress in electricity production.”