Solar Pump Systems Bring Food Security to Senegal and Guinea

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Senegal and Guinea-Conakry have introduced solar irrigation pumping systems (SIPS), replacing traditional diesel generators with Africa’s cheapest power – under 4 cents per kWh – and saving 1 kg of carbon dioxide emissions for every kWh of power produced.

With wholescale roll-out of SIPS technology, farmers in Senegal and Guinea can take advantage of the two to three thousand hours of annual sunshine the countries receive with 1,600-1,800kWh/kWp/yr solar potential, simultaneously mitigating agriculture’s net 20% contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the 2025 and 2030 goals respectively held by the two nations for universal electrification.

Among the latest in a long line of landmark solar projects to adopt SIPS tools is the Agricultural and Rural Prospects Initiative (ARPI)’s Research Project on Energy Transition for Women’s Economic Empowerment through the Horticultural Value Chain, a 30-month $767,730 program funded by the International Development Research Centre. This initiative, launched in November last year, targets Senegal’s Niayes area along with the Boké region of North-Western Guinea. The initiative is joined by the Centre for Women’s Empowerment in Solar Energy, which opened that same year, in a collaboration between the Indian NGO Barefoot College International and the Senegalese subsidiary of UAE group DP World, training 20 women in Dakar’s suburbs every four months on the installation of autonomous solar systems.

Thus, the SIPS technology’s legacy is large and growing. Late May this year saw German start-up GreenTec commission a 50kWp solar PV facility with inbuilt battery storage at Ndiob village in Senegal’s mid-West, powering treatment and desalination for a 2,000 liter per hour drinking water supply. Additionally, April marked the launch of Senegal-founded Enda Tiers Monde’s community SIPS installations – located near Saint-Louis following others in Thiès, Kolda, Fatick and Niayes along with works in 14 countries globally – the 14.8kW array pushing 2,000 cubic meters of water daily for 400 market gardeners, financed by the German Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Another significant development is the purpose-built vehicle of InfraCo Africa and Bonergie Senegal, dubbed Bonergie irrigation, representing the first firm to deliver solar irrigation pumping systems to Senegal at scale with their 100-system 2019 pilot, now freshly followed by a three-year $2.4 million scaled-up undertaking covering the commissioning, sale, installation and maintenance of 2,000 pumps and 500 drip irrigation systems nationwide by the end of 2023.

Accordingly, the SIPS technology is certainly in its infancy as far as west African deployment is concerned, but its potential has already been witnessed by the farming communities of Senegal and its neighbors. Now, with the war in Ukraine driving food prices to an all-time high – rising 12.6% from February to March alone – the key to a sustainable future for the MSGBC basin will be self-sufficiency.

Visit https://msgbcoilgasandpower.com/ to register for west Africa’s leading energy event, the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022 this September in Dakar and join a number of high-level delegates spanning regional energy ministers, national oil companies, international oil company executives and global investors in writing the future for African power that develops Africa. With the African COP27 fast approaching, and local capacity reforms in full swing, MSGBC 2022 will gather key transitional energy players and intersectional stakeholders including SIPS leaders Enda Energie and the Global Green Growth Institute for two days of programming.

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MSGBC OIL, GAS & POWER 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact sales@energycapitalpower.com.

MSGBC OIL, GAS & POWER 2022

Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact sales@energycapitalpower.com.

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor

Elliot Connor is Energy Capital & Power's Field Editor for the MSGBC region. He holds a PgD in Environmental Engineering and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. He is also a bestselling author, TED speaker and charity CEO, having priorly worked as a columnist for India’s largest newspaper: The Daily Pioneer.

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