#WEFAfrica17: Tackling renewable energy


Durban – If Senegal can make the move towards renewable energy, then so can the rest of the continent.

Senegalese president Macky Sall presented a solid case for renewable energies, when he described to economists how the West African country, more famously known for its soccer team, has successfully incorporated renewable energies into its power mix. He was speaking to World Economic Conference Africa delegates at a session on “electrifying Africa”.

“We established a regulatory framework in which to operate. We had public and private investment and it was not only about production of energy but distribution as well. Thanks to solar energy we managed to increase production of power by 22 percent,” he said.

In fact, so solid is the country’s move towards renewables that Sall envisages that by 2021, just four years away, the country will have to evaluate where they stand on energy and their different sources of energy.

He explained that funding would be a major challenge in any country’s attempts in investing in renewable energy sources, and said Senegal was fortunate as it received funds from France.

Not only has Senegal diversified its power mix, but it’s also reliable.

“We used to have power outages that amounted to 900 hours each year. That was six years ago. We’ve reduced they rate and are now down to 100 hours a year. But the reasons for this is old networks,” said Sall.

He urged each African country to make the effort to diversify its energy sources.

South Africa’s CEO of BioTherm, Jasandra Nyker, said there was a huge opportunity for South Africa to move “off the grid”.

“When you look at costs of renewable energies, solar has come down by 25 percent. This is quite significant in moving to renewables,” she said.