Gambia’s Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Fafa Sanyang has disclosed that The Gambia has agreed to pursue an increased share of renewable energy to at least 40% with focus on solar energy, in the final energy consumption of the national energy mix.
Fafa Sanyang was speaking to The Chronicle at his office at Bijilo on Wednesday shortly after he participated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) ‘World Solar Technology Summit, 2020’. “Solar energy is the solution for affordable clean energy, it is cheaper. The fact that it is getting cheaper and low in prices, it becomes important for Gambia and other third world countries that has abundant in sunlight to tap it’s energy resources from the natural resources,” said Fafa Sanyang.
According to him, The Gambia is 100percent dependent on fossil fuel and biomass to meeting it’s energy demands, adding that alternative clean energy options such as solar offers more sustainable energy solutions for The Gambia. Minister Sanyang, revealed that electricity accounts for only 4% of energy supply of the country, adding that 65% of the population lacks access to this supply.
“Solar energy is the solution to Gambia’s energy dilemma, observing that the cost for solar energy is wayward cheaper and affordable for citizens of The Gambia and other developing countries that has abundant sunlight”, said Mr Sanyang.
According to him, The Gambia is on strong footing to diversifying it’s energy needs, hinting that the National Energy Policy; Renewable Energy Act 2013; National Electricity Roadmap 2017-2025; Renewable Energy Investment Strategy for The Gambia, 2017, among others are policies designed to changing the status quo of energy consumption in the country. He said Gambian Government has already started working with partners on solar projects that will allow institutions such as hospitals and schools to have access to electricity through installation of solar power, adding that this project has already kicked off and has reach out to many schools and health facilities across the country.
The Energy Minister disclosed that biomass, including fuel wood accounts for about 60% of the country’s energy supply and more than 90% of household energy consumption, while petroleum products (liquedified petroleum gas for cooking, diesel and heavy fuel oil for generating electricity) accounts for 36%. Hence the adherance of The Gambia to the International Solar Alliance, a treaty based intergovernmental organisation that hopes to bring together member countries to aggregate demand and realise economies of scale, resulting in reduction of cost of solar applications, facilitating deployment of existing solar technologies at scale and promoting collaborative solar reduction and distribution capacity.
Indian Prime Minister, Nerandra Modi and Francois Hollander, former French President initiated the alliance in 2015, on the sidelines of the COP-21 in Paris, France.
ISA’s main objective is the deployment of 1000GW of solar capacity and mobilisation of $1000 billion of investment in solar energy sector by 2030.