In 2022, Gambia’s economy was ranked 160th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of coconuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, sawn wood, rough wood, and processed crustaceans.
In 2016,Gambia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 6.6 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.
In 2017, the Gambian government enacted the National Energy Policy, which was designed to increase the use of renewable energy to 30%.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 63.7% of the people in Gambia had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, National Water and Electric Company (NAWEC) only used refined petroleum (100 %) to generate electricity in Gambia.
Recent renewable energy projects in Gambia include:
- 1,100 MW Solar Tender – In September 2023, state owned Sustainable Energy Services Company launched a tender to install 1,100 PV systems, ranging from 2 kW to 240 kW in size, on 1,000 schools and 99 health facilities across the country.
- 150 MW Solar + 20 MW Energy Storage Project – The West African Power Pool, a cooperative of fourteen national electric companies in Western Africa is continuing work on a solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 80 miles east of Gambia’s capital, Banjul.
- 23 MW Solar Project – State owned, NAWEC is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 15 miles southwest of Banjul.
Gambia imports all the nation’s refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Gambia imported U.S. $108 Million for refined petroleum.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea placing embargos on Russian exports. As a result, the international price for crude oil increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Gambia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, offshore wind, biomass, and onshore wind. Renewable energy, specifically solar has the potential to replace costly diesel-fueled power plants, which are Gambia’s sole source of electricity.
Gambia’s energy future is now dependable, low-cost solar.
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.