Gambia validates green mini-grids feasibility studies

Sep 23, 2020, 11:12 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The minister of Petroleum and Energy, Fafa Sanyang and partners yesterday validated The Gambia Green mini-Grids (GMG) feasibility studies, which is part of The Gambia GMG country support programme and funded by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the African Development Bank.

In an online validation, the minister stated that the availability of reliable, efficient, affordable, and environmental friendly electricity supply is one of the cornerstones of The Gambia government's development aspirations for the energy sector, as elaborated in their sector policies, strategies, and national development plans.

Minister Sanyang recognised that the electricity grid cannot reach every community in The Gambia in keeping up with the global energy transition towards decentralised renewable energy systems. According to him, his ministry is committed to promoting alternative electrification solutions as a necessary vehicle to provide access to those communities beyond the reach of the national grid.

"As part of our national strategy for universal electricity access, The Gambia government has set a target to connect one-third of the rural population through off-grid solutions by 2030, mainly through green mini-grids and standalone home system."

He continued that the target cannot be readily achieved without establishing the enabling policy environment to stimulate both public and private investment in off-grid electrification, and putting in place an effective regulatory framework and developing financial support including de-risking mechanism for the private sector. 

He add that among the two major components of the project are the preparation of a GMG policy strategy, regulations, capacity development to promote GMG development in The Gambia; support GMG project development through feasibility studies at potential sites and implementation of a "roll-out plan" to attract prospective investors to the identified GMG opportunities."

Minister reiterated that all outputs and deliverables have been successfully completed in the first component, while in the second component, the feasibility studies and environmental social impact assessments for ten off-grid communities in the Upper River Region (URR) are to be finally completed.