Gambia’s Green Mini-Grids (GMG) Policy Framework was on Wednesday reviewed and
validated by stakeholders at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
It could be recalled that the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in April 2019 organised a validation workshop on the initial Development and Capacity Building in The Gambia.
The project will support the preparation of the enabling policy and regulatory framework for the deployment of market-driven GMGs in The Gambia. It will also prepare appropriate policy strategy, regulatory framework, develop technical standards and guidelines, carry out feasibility studies, socio-economic and environmental studies for specific sites and implement a tender process to attract most suitable investors in the mini-grid space.
Furthermore, the project will also provide technical and institutional capacity building related to developing, operating and managing GMGs, as well as the legal and regulatory issues surrounding green mini-grids.
The project is expected to contribute to the implementation and roll-out of renewable-powered mini-grids to supply electricity to off-grid rural communities in The Gambia, thereby improving their standard of living and stimulating socio-economic activities.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lamin Camara, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said The Gambia government has an ambitious goal of electrifying 100% of the population by 2030, while increasing significant share of renewable energy up to 30% of the total installed capacity.
He added that government also targets to electrify most of the rural and per-urban areas using decentralized energy systems to stimulate productive activities.
PS Camara pointed out that energy access in the country is below 50%, noting that the green mini-grid is here to expand energy access across the country.
He highlighted that to derive the green mini-grid in the country, the private sector is key. He expressed optimism that the initiative will create an industry where they can participate and bring energy access to the remotest part of the country.
The green mini-grid, he went on, will create job opportunities in the country as well as personal development.
Ansumana Sanneh, Director General of Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) added that policies are very important as they give directions on how to deal with a particular sector.
He observed that The Gambia like many developing countries still do not have a hundred percent access to electricity generation, saying the conventional systems in place needs to be supplemented.
“It is very important for us as a country to be able to have a robust policy and a robust regulatory background to be able to attract private sector investment in the sector,’’ he said.
DG Sanneh thus challenged participants to critically look at the document and ensure that it is implementable and do not come to hunt us in future.