Energy Sector

Electricity Sector

Senegal‘s source for electricity generation is overwhelmingly diesel and gas, which both need to be imported. Power demand has been growing throughout the last decade, and in tandem with upbeat economic forecasts it is expected to increase further in the next few years. Installation of new coal and diesel generation and exploitation of newly discovered offshore gas reserves is foreseen to keep up with rising demand. In addition, there is political will to have 15% of generation capacity from renewables by 2020, with regulations that have been promulgated since the signature of the first Energy Sector Development Policy Letter (Lettre de Politique de Développement du Secteur de l’Energie, LPDSE) in 2008, aiming in this direction.

Senegal’s national electricity access rate of 55% is relatively high with over 90% in urban centres, but estimated to less than 30% in rural areas. The Government of Senegal has set targets to achieve 60% access in 2017 and universal access in 2025. The electrification rate is rising as a result of new connections to the main grid and small off-grid projects. However, consumers and businesses connected to the grid still have to contend with highly unstable and unreliable electricity supply , leading to revenue and productivity losses for firms and the economy as a whole.

Rural electrification runs on a concessions program whereby ten distinct rural electrification concession areas can be awarded to bidders in a competitive tender. To date, six of the ten concessions  have been awarded and three are up and running.


Electricity Consumption in 2014

Economic Sector GWh
Industry 887
Transport 0
Residential 1064
Commercial and Public Services 817
Agriculture / Forestry 18
Fishing 0
Other non-specified 424
Final Electricity Consumption 3210


Source: IEA


Electricity Generation

Senegal is largely dependent on heavy fuel oil and diesel for power generation, both of which need to be imported. To meet the growing electricity demand of its population, Senegal is installing new coal and diesel generation (also from imported fuel) and is also looking to exploit recently discovered gas reserves off its coast. A 52MW diesel plant is expected to come online imminently, followed by a 125MW coal power station in 2018 in Sendou. Thermal stations, adapted to run on both diesel and gas will also be built in the next few years. The country’s generation capacity is forecast to reach 1.6GW in 2030.

State-owned utility Senelec is responsible for transmission, distribution and about half of generation. The framework allows for the participation of independent power producers (IPPs), which contribute the remainder of electricity output. Semaf-Manantali, GTI-DAKAR and Kounoune I inject power into the interconnected grid, while there are also self-producers such as CimSahel Energy, CSS, SONACOS, SOCOCIM and ICS.


Installed Generation Capacity (MW)

 Power Station Owner Installed Capacity (MW)
Bel Air Thermal Power Station Senelec/Wartsila 102
Boutoute Thermal Power Station Senelec 14
Dakar C1 Thermal Power Station Senelec 9
Dakar C2 Thermal Power Station Senelec 86.2
Dakar C3 Thermal Power Station Senelec 148
Dakar C4 Thermal Power Station Senelec 95
Dakar C5 Thermal Power Station Senelec 12
Kahone Thermal Power Station Senelec/Wartsila 102
Ndar Thermal Power Station Senelec 7.2
Tambacounda Thermal Power Station Senelec 6
TOTAL   581.4


Source: Wikipedia


Transmission and Distribution Network

In spite of the increasing number of IPPs, Senelec still holds a monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity. The distribution system comprises a 7,627km medium-voltage (MV) network at 6.6 kV and 30 kV, a low-voltage (LV) network with a total length of 6,761km as well as 13 high-voltage (HV)/HV and 3,511 MV/LV (30 and 6.6 kV) substations. The transmission network consists of 225 kV and 90 kV lines totalling 6,761km in length.

Increasingly obsolete infrastructure leads to frequent shutdowns, and transmission losses are estimated at around 19%. Reserve capacity presently is insufficient, causing frequent (scheduled or unscheduled) outages of whole districts, while transmission losses, old thermal power plants and increasing oil prices result in high average production costs.

Source: CRSE



Electricity Tariffs

Imported crude oil is processed and refined by Senegal’s only refinery, Société Africaine de Raffinage (SAR). Refined oil products are also imported directly, as SAR’s processing capacity covers less than 40% of the market. As a result, electricity tariffs are high compared to other ECOWAS countries and Senegal’s power generation infrastructure is unable to keep up with rising demand.


Low Voltage Electricity Tariff Schedule

  Service charge (CFA/month) Net tariffs per kWh, CFA (tariffs are subject to change)
 Consumption class 1st portion 2nd portion 3rd protion
General domestic 120.28 87.07 62
Special domestic (lighting only) 95.48 106.55 62
<32 kW (UP1) 125.16 112.26 76.56
>32kWh (UP2) 1852.63 84.79 76.56


Source: CRSE



Medium Voltage Electricity Tariff Schedule (2016)

Tariff General (1,001-4,000 hrs/yr) Short use (<1,000 hrs/yr) Long use (>4,000 hrs/yr)
Service charge (CFA/month) 2649.8 622.55 6395.72
Peak hours (FCFA/kWh) 84.45 117.35 69.38
Of-peak hours (FCFA/kWh) 58.53 81.32 48.07


Source: CRSE



High Voltage Electricity Tariff Schedule (2016)

Private distribution company supplied Taiba and Sococim ICS
Service charge (CFA/month) 6491.76 2886.01
Peak hours (FCFA/kWh) 48.76 61.06
Off-peak hours (FCFA/kWh) 38.21 50.88


Source: CRSE


Off-Grid Electrification

In remote areas, renewable hybrid systems with a higher share of renewable technologies are more cost effective, partly due to the high cost of transporting diesel.  The National Rural Electrification Agency (Agence Sénégalaise d’Electrification Rurale, ASER) has therefore assessed the economic viability of different options and included the development of mini-grids for the electrification of villages in its concessions under the Local Initiatives for Rural Electrification project (Electrification Rurale par des Initiatives Locales, ERILS). The structuring of the rural electrification concessions with private sector participation has helped raise the rural electrification rate from 8% in 2000 to 26% in 2012. In addition, about 20 mini-grids have been retrofitted with PV in cooperation with the German development agency GIZ.