The Business Council of Renewable Energies of Senegal (COPERES) and Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the electrification of rural areas in Senegal. The deal sets out the shared goals of both the organizations to address the existing obstacles which retard the optimal use of the various renewable energies for electrification and the potential for energy efficiency in the country.
According to Power Africa, the West African country has an electricity access rate of 69% with 93% in urban areas and nearly 50% in rural areas. Like other sub-Saharan African countries, Senegal has a great potential for solar as well other renewable energies and relies on these to electrify its population.
The recently signed partnership will support the efforts of the Senegalese government in the field of electrification. The government is concentrating its efforts in remote areas and relying on renewable energy providers through decentralized solutions for increasing access to electricity in rural areas. This partnership is expected to develop the capacity of renewable energy market players, create local jobs, and obtain more funding for projects and companies in Senegal.
According to an announcement from COPERES, “This will be done, for example, by organizing ‘decentralized renewable energy investment academies or similar training for international Senegalese developers and other stakeholders, with the aim of attracting additional funding and technical support.”
COPERES and ARE will be working together on joint advocacy for renewable energy policies in Senegal leading to a favorable market environment for renewable sector players and achieving renewable energy targets. Both the organizations intend to provide business development services in order to address the challenges of electrification, energy security, and climate change.
The two partners plan to conduct applied research on renewable energy technologies to stimulate the renewable market. The deal will promote social and economic development by increasing the share of renewable energies in the energy mix in Senegal as well in West Africa.
Senegal has made commendable efforts in recent years to improve the business environment for the renewable energy sector. Last year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Senegal exempted from value-added tax (VAT) equipment for the production of renewable energy such as solar, wind, and biogas.