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Case study 14 October, 2016 Solar PV AgricultureWater Micro/Mini-grid

Plan International – Access to Renewable Energy Services in Kita (PASER-K)

Who, What & Where

  • Plan International, Energía sin Fronteras, Renewable Energy Agency of Mali (AER-Mali), CAEB (Mali)
  • Access to Renewable Energy Services in Kita (PASER-K)
  • Mali
  • Completion in 2018

The Organisations

The project involves both governmental and non-governmental organisations with complementary expertise. Plan International is a children’s rights organisation working with local communities in many countries. The Foundation Energía sin Fronteras supports and provides energy and water services to poor communities in developing countries. The Renewable Energy Agency of Mali (AER-Mali, ex-CNESoler) is in charge of renewable energy promotion in Mali. The Malian NGO CAEB promotes participative development through capacity building of local communities.

The Challenge

Kita circle’s population, predominantly rural, has very limited access to electricity services (2%). This situation is not expected to improve despite grid development in the region. Community services (health centres, schools), productive activities (agriculture, mills), communication and cooking are particularly affected by the lack of modern energy services. Barriers to overcome are the low capacity of the population and the lack of technical and management capacities locally

Opportunities for Renewables

Solar photovoltaic systems are particularly relevant to the type of energy services, in quantity and quality, needed by communities.

Renewable Solution

The project provides solar energy services in 30 communities: lighting of 24 schools and five health centres (100 Wp modules); 200 litre water heater and 124 litre refrigerator in four health centres; 60 public lighting systems (35 W); 30 kiosks for battery charging (300/600 Wp); 30 water pumping systems (up to 4000 Wp); 30 mills (1600 Wp, 100 to 150 kg cereals/day) and 60 driers (15 to 20 kg).

Locals are trained to properly use and do basic maintenance of the equipment; among them are 131 women’s associations involved in agriculture. A special focus is given to the local availability of advanced maintenance services and spare parts, hopefully stimulated by the cumulative installed capacity of equipment. Fifteen local artisans and five women enterprises are also trained to the production and promotion of improved cook stoves.

Strategic analyses of renewable scale-up in Mali, of the specific role of the Renewable Energy Agency, and of sustainability conditions of similar projects, completed the activities.

Project Financing and Costs

Total cost reaches 2,633,827 EUR, funded by the European Union (1,500,000 EUR) and Plan International (1,133,827 EUR). Investment, initial maintenance and capacity building are met by the project. End-users are asked to pay for longer-term maintenance and spare parts: a payment-for-service is required for productive uses, besides a fee for community services. Local energy committees are in charge of the economic management. The involvement of a private operator for maintenance and fee collection is under evaluation.

Project Outcome

Around 22,000 persons, half of them children, benefit from the modern energy services provided by the project. Expected outcomes are improved health, better school results, improved nutrition, local jobs and empowerment of women, all contributing to rural poverty reduction. The integration of community, productive and cooking energy services and the high number of targeted communities are expected to increase the technical, economic and social sustainability of the project, while raising implementation challenges. The growing implementation of solar PV in Mali also raises the question of waste disposal and recycling (batteries, panels, etc.).