By Nelson Manneh
The Managing Director of NAWEC on Wednesday said his institution has secured funding for the electrification of over 685 communities countrywide from 2021 to 2023.
Nani Juwara, made the statement during the commencement of the validation of the energy sector strategic roadmap 2021-2030.
The energy sector strategic roadmap document was initially developed in 2015 and partially updated in 2017 but with the support of the World Bank, the document is once again updated to reflect the changing realities of the energy sector
The objective of the strategic roadmap is to serve as a reference point to all stakeholders. The key highlights of the roadmap are the ambiguous goal of The Gambia government in providing universal access to electricity by 2025.
Juwara added: “Another important highlight of the roadmap is the least cost investment plan to ensure that, electricity is accessible and affordable. As we are all aware, energy cost in The Gambia is relatively high due to the method of power generation and the age of our generation facilities.”
The roadmap has clearly specified the various least cost generation options that will help equip NAWEC to provide high quality service with minimal cost to meet the expectations of our customers, he said.
The NAWEC MD said another important element of the roadmap is regional connectivity to harness the energy potentials within the sub-region through West African Power Pool (WAPP) energy market initiative.
He said: “The regional electricity market will create an opportunity for The Gambia to import cheaper sources of energy from any of part of West Africa and at the same time, export energy to other countries especially from the planned 150MW solar plant to be developed by WAPP in The Gambia.”
He said the OMVG network which is near completion, will pave the way for The Gambia to integrate with other countries, thus creating an opportunity to strengthen NAWEC transmission capacity and improve the quality of their service delivery at least cost.
Fafa Sanyang the Minister of Petroleum and Energy said the regional and global energy landscape is ever evolving. Notwithstanding the need to update the high-level sector plans and strategies to take into account new market realities and opportunities.
Minister Sanyang said providing access to electricity to support inclusive and sustainable socio economic development is one of the pivotal cornerstones of the government’s priorities as articulated in the energy sector policies and strategies, and highlighted in the National Development Plan.
He said: “The overall objective of updating the roadmap was to develop a strategic Master Plan for the electricity sub-sector of the Gambia that is fully consistent with the macroeconomic, energy, investment and climate-related policies of the government of The Gambia, and represent the high-level vision of the Government for the development of the sector over the next 20 years.”
He said the strategic roadmap assesses the current and future electricity demand of the country, and establishes the medium and long-term investments in generation, and T&D necessary to meet the forecast national electricity demand while meeting specified sector policy objectives such as universal electricity access by 2025, increased domestic generation and the systematic deployment of renewable energy in the electricity generation mix.