Pathways towards universal access to electricity in West Africa : Case study of Mali and Senegal

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: Despite the vast solar potential in both Mali and Senegal, the electricity access in both countries remains one of the lowest in the world. The main problem is represented by the disparity between rural and urban settlements. In Senegal, the electricity access for rural areas was lower than 50%, while in Mali was around 35%. Although the grid represents and will still represent the main driver to ensure electricity access, solar off-grid technologies can help reach rural communities living far from the grid. This study used a GIS-based approach to study electricity models for Senegal and Mali. This has been done in order to integrate physical geographical constraints like GHI, slope and grid infrastructure, and socio-demographical constraints like population density, and distance of rural settlements from the grid. The modeling tool OnSSET together with the QGIS mapping tool is used in this thesis.To achieve future electricity targets, the modeling period of this study has been set to 2020-2030. Under this study for both countries, two scenarios have been analyzed. A sensitivity analysis will help to analyze the influence of the demand level and the grid’s generation price on the results of these scenarios. For Mali, an optimistic scenario considering a 100% electrification rate by 2030, with a reliable grid and a low grid electrification price is designed. A second scenario follows an opposite approach where only 70% will have access to electricity, mainly due to an inadequate grid state. For both scenarios, the results show that the population connected to the grid will be between 70% and 60%. The total investment needed to reach universal access in Mali is between $3.7 and $3.2 billion. The highest share of this investment will be dedicated to the implementation and maintenance of the grid, between $2 and $1.6 billion. Stand-Alone and mini-grid PV will contribute to bringing electricity to 10 to 20% of the population. For Senegal, an optimistic scenario considers a really good grid state and a 100% electrification rate. A second pessimistic scenario considers an inadequate state of the grid, with an electricity access level of 90%. The results show that the population connected to the grid will be between 80% and 70%. The investment required to reach universal access by 2030 will be between $2.3 and $1.9 billion. Most of this investment will be dedicated to the maintenance and implementation of the grid. For Senegal stand-alone, PV mini-grids and hydro-mini-grids will bring electricity to between 6 and 10% of the population.

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