Despite the specific context due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Productive uses of energy project has just started in Senegal. Funded by the German development cooperation agency (GIZ), it is the first project for access to electricity conducted by GRET in Senegal.
This project takes a cross-sectoral approach and is integrated into four projects focusing on different subject areas being conducted by GRET in rural areas of Senegal: Typha Senegal, Terria, Ajesud and Qualemploi. The objective of this new project is to provide reliable access to solar energy for economic stakeholders (entrepreneurs, producers’ groups, etc.) supported by these projects.
The issue of energy is often an obstacle to the development of activities: when it is expensive (thermal units, network), it is an extra cost; when it is absent or unreliable, it limits production and diversification of activities.
After a diagnosis of current uses of energy requirements, together with the project teams in the field, a dozen economic stakeholders – i.e. approximately 50 people – will benefit from solar installations in several forms: solar water pumping for market-gardening, solar dryers, tools for welding and metal joinery, presses, etc. Technical, organisational and financial support will be provided to ensure sustainability of activities and infrastructures. Business plans will be updated and will include elements relating to maintenance, repair and renewal of the equipment. The project will draw on local stakeholder networks, such as regional development agencies, vocational training centres, trades chambers and suppliers of quality solar equipment, in order to ensure the development of a local solar value chain.
The results of this pilot phase will make it possible to evaluate the profitability of solar energy in economic activities, in order to better plan conditions for upscaling to a possible second phase.