Wind power will open up the road for renewable energy in Senegal

Senegal began the construction of two wind energy plants having a total capacity of 175 MW. The news comes from "Le Soleil", the country’s main newspaper, which reported a statement by the Minister of Renewable Energy, Louis Seck announcing that the country will aim at wind energy, solar power and biomass to increase the amount of energy available for the population.

In July the Senegalese Parliament approved a framework law on the development of renewable energy, following which the Government was committed to provide access to electricity to a greater amount of inhabitants and to produce 15% of energy consumption from renewables by 2020.

According to Louis Seck, the first of the two wind farm plants, having a capacity of 125 MW, will be put into service by the end of 2011 on the northern coast of the country, at Taiba Ndiaye, with an annual production that will be equivalent to 15% of the country’s current electricity demand.

The second wind farm, whose capacity is 50 MW, is expected to be put into service shortly afterwards, also on the northern coast.

Thorough wind assessments were performed at the two sites starting from 2003, when Senegal asked for Germany’s support for the development of a first 10 MW pilot wind turbines plant. Under this cooperation project, a feasibility study was also carried out regarding the national wind potential.

The electricity capacity currently installed in Senegal, whose area is just under two-thirds of Italy with a population of 13.8 million inhabitants, is lower than 600 MW.