Multi-technology project adds flexibility to meet different local needs

 

The project for access to electrical services in small towns in the Sédhiou region in Senegal, has had a great impact. Through a multi-technology approach the project has been able to adapt to different needs in the region. The three technology types include connection to the existing grid, mini hybrid power plants or connections with individual systems (SHS). The project has resulted in a total of 131 villages being electrified, which has had a high impact on the local living environment.

A great strength of the multi-technology approach is that it allows the right technology can be applied based of the beneficiaries’ needs or economic interests rather than selecting villages based on the characteristics of the technology. This is definitely an approach to be considered in other electrification projects.

However, even though all infrastructures were completed, the active participation of the society was not as high as expected. This was mainly due to the fact that community users could not afford the connection fees.

But the potential impact of the project is still significant, and two grid-connected villages have had an accelerated increase in the number of connections after the project. Access to electricity means possibilities for cols storage for commercial and domestic use, metal welding and milling etc. Furthermore, public lighting has had important impact for the living environment allowing improvement of the education of children of young people.