Access to energy: progress.
The meeting of our Association which took place on 16 September was devoted to the theme: Rural electrification in Africa and the role of NGOs. Speakers included Pierre Jacquemot, former President of GRET and President of the Initiatives Group, Jean-Pierre Cerdan, Secretary General of Electriciens sans Frontières and Ousseynou Nakoulima, Director of the International Finance Corporation/World Bank for Western Europe
An exciting meeting that showed the possibilities and difficulties of rural electrification, which can involve extending networks but which must necessarily take into account decentralized solutions: pico networks for a few houses, mini networks for villages or groups of villages of several thousand people. The dizzying drop in the cost of solar energy (divided by 10 in 10 years) makes it possible to develop many projects even if the available capital is far from covering all needs.
Overall, the prospects for electrification are improving. In many countries (Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya...) the objective is an almost total electrification of the population by 2025/2030. This electrification is of course a necessity to accelerate development and significantly improve living standards.
Development of solar energy (for rural electrification but also by the installation of large power plants - several tens of megawatts - connected to the grid), development of wind energy (for example projects along the Great Coast between Saint Louis and Dakar in Senegal), but also development of more traditional sources:
- Hydraulics with the construction of numerous dams (Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, etc.) despite the reluctance of some NGOs and the lack of financing from major development banks, but with the assistance of Chinese companies
- Thermal production from natural gas, thanks to recent hydrocarbon discoveries in West Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Mauritania...) and East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique). Gas will replace liquid fuels - heavy fuel oil - in existing plants and will allow the construction of new plants.
The future of the energy sector in Africa will not necessarily be bright in all regions because the delicate situation in the Sahel region and in some parts of East Africa makes progress difficult, but in many countries new technical and economic conditions allow optimism: lower production costs, payment methods that facilitate bill payment, greater ability to pay for consumers.
The General Assembly of our Association will take place on Wednesday 6 November at 4pm, 69 rue La Boétie in Paris
The next meeting of our Think Tank will be devoted to the Chinese presence in Africa and the intervention of Chinese companies in the energy sector.
Finally, SIEPA 2020 will take place on June 9 and 10 in Dakar.
de l'Énergie en Afrique