ADRAR Solar Initiative and Decentralized Electrification in the Northern Coastline of Mauritania through Hybrid (Wind/Diesel) Systems

Background :

The Government of Mauritania (GoM) has been promoting since the early 1980s, the adoption of LPG as a substitute for wood fuels, in order to alleviate the pressure on forest resources, and control the environmental impacts associated with deforestation. The national program of LPG promotion benefited from donor support, namely, the EU. Despite a noticeable increase in LPG consumption in urban areas (a threefold increase between 1987 and 1997), the program fell short of meeting its quantitative goal. The dissemination of improved stoves started in 1992 has been relatively more successful. Overall, however, the implementation of the household energy strategy adopted by the GoM in 1991 has been hindered by the lack of an effective institutional and organizational framework and well-targeted supporting investments. Within the above context, alternative energy sources were explored since 1995 mainly through the GEF/UNDP supported "Decentralized wind electric power for social and economic development (Alizés Electriques)" project which laid the ground work for the current proposal.

The situation today is that most of the Mauritanian populations have no access to electricity. While in urban areas 30% of households have electricity, in rural areas electricity access rate is less than 1%. For lighting the poor use candles, dry cells, batteries, and kerosene lamps. The illumination is dim, and causes eye strain if reading is attempted. It is fair to say that a large number of these people remain “in the dark” without access to electricity. Diesel groups also are limited in number in rural areas and most small entrepreneurs (decortiqueries, garages, welding, etc.) cannot afford the investment and the associated O&M cost due to high supply cost and unreliable availability of fuel, lube oil, and spare parts.

By way of a government decree (No. 2001-065 of June 18 th, 2001), the National Renewable Energy Agency –ADER (Agence Nationale de Développement des Energies Renouvellables) was created as a commercial entity with a public mandate to promote, supervise and raise financing for rural electrification in the country. In establishing ADER as a private commercial venture, governed by commercial law rather than as an Office, the government’s intension for ADER’s managerial efficiency, cost recovery and financial/economic performance standards were clear.

In January 2003, after close to a year of internal organization and brainstorming, ADER submitted to UNDP-GEF the solar ADRAR proposal with a view to receiving guidance for its further processing by GEF. In May 2003, the UNDP-GEF Regional Coordination Unit was invited to undertake a field mission in Mauritania to take stock of the achievements and lessons that can be drawn from the ALIZE project and apply them to the country’s evolving circumstances by scaling-up the scheme. The mission resulted in a combined project proposal with a dual objective of scaling-up hybrid wind/diesel systems on the coastal zone and simultaneously providing solar energy to the ADRAR region with GEF support.

Expected Résults  :

ADRAR solar component preparation activities will result in:

-H household/community surveys and demand study (household size and income levels, expenditure patterns etc..);

-Equipment specification for each end-use application and setting of performance standards of the pre-payment equipment;

- Technical feasibility report for both household/community based kits and productive end use applications;

-Economic feasibility report and selection of most appropriate delivery models;

-Thorough field pilot testing of at least 2 PV systems of 20Wp and 50 Wp;

-Identification, testing and selection of most appropriate pre-payment schemes and technologies for Mauritania.

-Final selection of the participating villages;

- Identification of water pumping site after preliminary topological surveys and stem drill testing;

- Sensitization and training all local stakeholders.

Hybrid Wind-Turbine/Diesel Generator scaling-up component preparation will result in:

-Availability of all required TORs (cahier des charges) for the supply/installation of equipment, procurement of consulting services, work supervision/control and certification to support project implementation;

-Availability of training/technical assistance needs assessment and community involvement/participation action plan;

-Technical feasibility report;

-Economic feasibility report;

-National workshop to validate all required studies and strengthen local ownership of the project.

Capacity building and Institutional strengthening Needs Assessment of ADER will result in:

-P reliminary report on operational technical assistance needs of ADER in SHS/PV project management with relevant project monitoring and evaluation capabilities;

-Preliminary report on operational technical assistance needs of ADER in hybrid systems (wind turbine/diesel) project management with relevant monitoring and evaluation capabilities;

-Report on training needs for rural energy service extension agents for project supervision in both regions of the project activities;

-ADER position paper on renewable energy issues in national development planning within the context of the formulation of integrated rural development programs;

-Report/planning study on future transfer of know-how through seminars and selected learning events and workshops during baseline project implementation;

-Availability of a project M&E guide and data-base tracing implementation performance composed of:

Implementing Agency/ partner :

Ministry of Economy and Finance

Ministry delegated to the Preme Minister in charge of Environment


Agence d’exécution / principaux partenaires :

  • Ministère délégué auprès du Premier Ministre, chargé de l’Environnement