France colonized the island and established the Malagasy Protectorate in 1890. After decades of insurrection, Madagascar gained full independence from France in 1960. Madagascar’s independence has unfortunately brought decades of military juntas, corruption. and civil unrest.
In 2022, Madagascar’s economy was ranked 125th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of vanilla, raw nickel, titanium ore, gold, knit clothing, and cloves.
In 2016, Madagascar signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, based on a business-as-usual scenario.
In 2017, Madagascar announced an energy policy intended to increase access to electricity and to produce 85% of the country’s power from renewable energy by 2030.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, only 35.1% of the people of Madagascar had access to electricity. In 2021, Madagascar’s power companies used oil (53.1 %), renewable energy (34.5 %), and coal (12.4 %) to generate to generate electricity across the country. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Madagascar.
Recent renewable energy projects in Madagascar include:
- 200 MW Solar Project Tender – In July 2023, Madagascar’s Ministry of Hydrogen and Hydrocarbons launched a tender for a solar project at a site near the nation’s capital,
- 60 MW Solar + 10 MWh Energy Storage Project – Madagascar company, Axian is continuing work on a solar plus energy storage project in The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
- 20 MW Solar + 5 MWh Energy Storage Project – In April 2022, French solar company, GreenYellow commissioned a 20 MW solar project expansion to the Ambatolampy solar power plant, which is approximately 40 miles south of Andranotakatra.
- 12 MW Solar + 8 MW Wind + 8.2 MW Energy Storage Project – Kenyan power company, CrossBoundary Energy is continuing work on a hybrid renewable energy plus energy storage project in the southern region of the country. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
- 17 MW Solar Project – In December 2021, Madagascar solar company, Mada Green Power commissioned a utility scale solar project in Andranotakatra.
- 10 MW Solar Tender – In July 2023, Madagascar’s Ministry of Hydrogen and Hydrocarbons launched a tender for a solar project at a site approximately 310 miles northwest of
- 26 MW Solar Projects – In November 2020, Madagascar solar company, Groupe Filatex commissioned forty-four 74kW portable photovoltaic solar units in the southwestern region of the country.
Madagascar imports refined petroleum and coal for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Madagascar imported U.S. $437 Million just for refined petroleum.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Madagascar has approximately 130 isolated mini grids that provide power in the rural areas of the country. The mini grids are primarily powered by diesel generators, which are now cost prohibitive due to volatile oil prices.
Low-cost, reliable solar photovoltaic projects are now replacing diesel powered mini grids. Madagascar is turning to the sun for low-cost, reliable electricity.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.