Renewable Energy Potential

Physical Potential

Senegal has strong potential for renewable energy generation, most of it untapped. So far, hydropower has been partly exploited and contributes 54 MW to the power mix. Moreover, solar PV has been used in new mini-grids and to retrofit existing ones. Wind has good potential and biomass is abundant owing to the amount of organic waste produced by the agricultural sector.

 

Solar Potential

The country has significant solar energy resources. Solar irradiation is above 2,000 kWh/m2/year for Global Horizontal Irradiation across most of the country, with the average global daily irradiation calculated at 5,43 kWh /m²/day which gives excellent prospects for photovoltaic projects as well as for the use of solar thermal technologies. The falling prices of PV panels and system components make solar an attractive solution, particularly if the costs of the alternatives – imported oil products – are high. There are no official data on the capacity of installed PV systems. Since purchasing power is relatively low, PV systems are only rarely bought by private individuals. The market opportunities will depend on the creation and expansion of national and international promotion programmes.

 

Wind Potential

There is good wind energy potential along Senegal’s Northern coastline between Dakar and Saint Louis. In a study carried out by the Senegal Meteorological Service, wind velocities of 5.7-6.1m/s were observed in the 50km coastal strip between the two cities. So far, this resource has not been exploited and more detailed data needs to be collected. According to certain estimates wind power could account for as much as 70% of Senegal’s renewable energy generation capacity.

 

Hydro Potential

The Senegal River has significant hydroelectric potential which is estimated at 1,200 MW. Senegal’s total potential for large hydro on the Senegal and Gambia rivers is put at around 1,400 MW of which there is currently only 260MW is exploited with the Manantali plant that benefits several countries.

 

Biomass and Biofuel Potential

Solid biomass in the form of agricultural by-products and liquid biofuels also has good potential in parts of the country. Biomass resources, such as agricultural waste (approximately 3.3 million dry tonnes of agricultural residues) and agribusiness by-products (rice husks, bagasse, peanut shells, cotton stalks, etc.) have potential uses in on-grid and off-grid electricity generation. The estimated generating potential is 2,900 Gwh.