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Solar energy gains momentum in the Sahel

Friday, September 17, 2021

Significance

There are large regional variations in access to electricity, ranging from less than 10% electrification in Chad to a high of 70% in Senegal. Most countries are heavily reliant on thermal and hydro power; solar energy would allow them to utilise the region's many months of sun to increase their electricity output with minimal environmental impact.

Impacts

  • Despite the region’s dry climate and highly seasonal concentration of rainfall, hydropower will play an expanding role.
  • Gas will provide a less carbon-intensive generating option for Mauritania and Senegal, but is less available to other Sahel countries.
  • Local solar and wind installations could be key in supplying the numerous scattered rural communities and towns.
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