Solar Is Electrifying Mali

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Mali is approximately 20.69 million people[1]. In 2018, only 50.9% of the people in this north-central African country have 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, cotton, oil seeds, timber, and vegetables.

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). Mali also had 70 MW of off-grid power capacity.

In 2019, Mali’s  state-owned utility, EDM used hydropower (60%) and diesel (40%) 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:

  • 33 MW Solar Project – In April 2021, Norwegian renewable energy company, Scatec ASA commenced work on a PV solar project in the town Ségou, which is located in the western region of the country.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In February 2020, Emirati power company, Amea Power Group commenced work on a PV solar project in the town Tiakadougou-Dialakoro, which is located near the country’s capital, The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2021.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In April 2021, French multi-national company, Legendre commenced work on a PV solar project in the town of Fana, which is located 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, which is located in the western region of the country.
  • 93 MW Solar Project – In December 2020, the Emirati solar company, Phanes Group commenced work on a PV solar project in the town of Touna, which is located in the southern region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2022.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In February 2020, Emirati renewable energy company, Pal4 Energie Solaire announced plans to build a PV solar project in the town of Diéma, which is located in the western region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2021.

Conclusions

Mali is rich in renewable energy resources, such as hydropower, solar, biomass, and wind. The government of Mali is using off-grid solar to provide reliable, low-cost solar power to provide electricity to this beautiful north African country.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

 

[1] Mali Population (2021) –  April 7, 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. AID, Power Africa Fact Sheet – Republic of Mali

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