Renewable Energy in Mali: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities

10/05/2012
Share |

As Mali strives to become an emerging economy, it is focusing on energy sector reforms to support growth and improve quality of life. Renewable energy holds significant potential for scaling up across the country and promises to decrease dependence on fossil fuel imports and reduce forest degradation caused by increasing energy demands.

This executive summary of “Renewable Energy in Mali: Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities” summarizes an initial stocktaking exercise carried out by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other development partners in early 2011 on behalf of the National Directorate of Energy of Mali within the framework of the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Counties (SREP), a program of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). It describes the current status of Mali’s energy sector and identifies four strategic areas for development: 1) institutional, legislative and regulatory frameworks; 2) communications and capacity building; 3) research and knowledge management; and 4) investments in key technologies to expand energy access and make renewable energy attractive to public and private operators.

The most relevant priority initiatives have been included in Mali’s SREP investment plan, which calls for expansion of solar photovoltaic (PV), mini-hydro, and biofuel technologies.  The AfDB will be channeling USD 25 million in SREP funding, along with USD 40 million of its own co-financing, to support Mali’s projects for 20MW solar PV independent power producers (IPP) and 15MW mini/micro hydro development. The AfDB will also support the preparation and implementation of a Technical Assistance Project that will focus on the Strategic Coordination Mechanism of the SREP Mali Program, including M&E and knowledge management activities, as well as capacity building for national stakeholders.