Solar Is Electrifying Mali

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Mali is approximately 20.90 million people[1]. In 2019, only 48.0% of the people in this Northwest African country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Mali’s economy was ranked 119th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent[4] on the export of gold, raw cotton, oil seeds, timber, and vegetable oils.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Mali signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21% for land use, 29% for agriculture, and 31% for energy by 2030 in comparison to a business-as-usual scenario.

In 2019, Mali had only 310 MW of on-grid power generation capacity[6], which was operated by the state-owned Energie du Mali S.A. (EDM).

In 2020, Mali’s  state-owned utility, EDM used hydropower (55%) and diesel (45%) to generate electricity for the national power grid. Off-grid power was primarily generated from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Recent renewable energy projects in Mali include:

  • 30 MW Solar + 15.4 MW Energy Storage – In April 2021, German renewable energy company, BayWa and German solar company, Suntrace commissioned a solar plus energy storage project at the Fekola gold mine in the southwestern region of the country.
  • 33 MW Solar Project – Norwegian renewable energy company, Scatec ASA is continuing work on a PV solar project in the town Ségou in the western region of the country.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In June 2021, Emirati power company, Amea Power Group commissioned solar project in the town Tiakadougou-Dialakoro, near the country’s capital, Bamako.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – French multi-national company, Legendre is continuing work on a PV solar project in the town of Fana in the western region of the country.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In November 2020, French renewable energy company, Akuo Energy commissioned a PV solar project in the town of Kito in the western region of the country.
  • 93 MW Solar Project – Emirati solar company, Phanes Group is continuing work on a solar project in the town of Touna in the southern region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2022.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – Emirati renewable energy company, Pal4 Energie Solaire is continuing work on a solar project in the town of Diéma in the western region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2022.

Conclusions

Access to electricity in Mali declined from 2018 to 2019 due to the crumbling power grid infrastructure operated by the state-owned utility, EDM.

Mali is rich in renewable energy resources, such as solar, biomass, hydropower, and wind. International aid agencies in Europe and the United State are now funding the installation of photovoltaic arrays, which are now electrifying Mali.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

[1] Mali Population (2021) –  July 25, 2021, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Mali

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity – Mali

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] U.S Department of  Commerce – Republic of Mali – Energy

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