Renewables Electrifying Mauritania

Country Overview

The  African country of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is bordered by Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, and the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Mauritania is approximately 4,94 million people.

In 2022, Mauritania’s economy was ranked 143rd in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of iron ore, gold, crustaceans, frozen fish, and copper ore.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Mauritania signed the Paris Climate Agreement pledging to a 22.3% reduction in emissions from business-as-usual levels by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 47.7% of the people in Mauritania had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned electric utility, SOMELEC used refined petroleum (73.4%) and renewable energy (26.6%) to generate electricity. Hydropower, wind, and solar are the primary types of renewable energy in Mauritania.

Recent renewable energy projects in Mauritania include:

  • 60,000 MW Wind + Solar Hybrid Project – In November 2023, Danish renewable energy company, GreenGo submitted a development application for the Megaton Moon hybrid wind plus solar project to the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines. The project will be located near the nation’s capital, Nouakchott. The project will be built in stages with the initial stage forecast to be completed in 2028.
  • 30,000 MW Green Hydrogen Project – In November 2023, Danish renewable energy company, GreenGo submitted a development application for the Megaton Moon green hydrogen project to the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines. The project will be located near Nouakchott.
  • 140 MW Hydroelectric Project – In December 2022, representatives from the Senegal River Basin Development Organization commissioned the Gouina hydroelectric power plant located in western Mali. The hydroelectric plant will generate electricity for the people in Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal, and Mali.

Conclusions

In 2001, Australian company Woodside discovered oil off the Mauritanian coast in 2,600 feet of water. In 2021, Mauritania exported U.S. $274 Million of crude oil.

In 2015, American company, Kosmos Energy announced a significant natural gas discovery off the coast of Senegal. A BP-Kosmos partnership is currently developing a liquified natural gas project of offshore hydrocarbon discoveries in offshore Senegal and Mauritania.

Mauritania imports the majority of its refined petroleum for transportation and power generation. In 2021, Mauritania imported U.S. $460 Million of 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.

Mauritania has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, hydropower, offshore wind, and biomass. Mauritania is now developing renewable energy projects to increase access to electricity for everyone in the country.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

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.

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