Energy ministry hosts GMG inception training

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ministry of Petroleum and Energy yesterday hosted a day-long inception training for stakeholders in the energy sector on the Green Mini-Grid (GMG) country support programme for The Gambia.

Held at a local hotel in Senegambia, the training was supported by the African Development Bank through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) with the objective to present the report and gather feedback from all stakeholders to guide the Ministry and the consultant in developing appropriate, stable, long-lived, clear and comprehensive efficient and cost-effective GMG policy framework for The Gambia.

Economic Consulting Association Ltd (ECA) of the United Kingdom and 3E of Belgium as the first deliverables for the assignment submit the report.

Permanent secretary of MoPE Lamin Camara said the GMG country support programme is a flagship project of SEFA to support eligible countries to develop enabling framework and investment programme GMG to increase energy access and stimulate socio-economic development.

“GMG involve localised small-scale electricity generation powered in part or wholly by renewable energy and the distribution of electricity to a limited number of customers through a distribution network that can operate in isolation from the national electricity transmission grid, yet supply electricity at grid-quality level,” PS Camara said.

He said Mini-grids have become distinct and viable approach to off-grid electrification, particularly in rural areas.

PS Camara said in order to achieve universal access to electricity by 2040, 70 percent of currently non-electrified rural villages will need to be connected through off-grid/mini-grid solutions, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency.

He said Gambia government has a target to connect one-third of the rural population through off-grid solutions by 2030, which will include mini-grids and stand-alone home systems. “However, this target cannot be readily achieved without establishing the regulatory framework to stimulate both public and private investments in off-grid electrification.”

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Fafa Sanyang said the government recognises the critical role that energy plays in Gambia’s socio-economic development and economic growth and gives universal access to affordable and sustainable electricity. “To achieve this laudable goal, we have realised the need to promote off-grid solutions such as GMG to complement the existing grid expansion which is not a viable strategy, as some communities are too distant to be economically connected in short to medium term.”

Author: Momodou Jawo