09 May Gesto helps Senegal to reduce the electrification costs for Rural Populations
Gesto was awarded a new project in the area of rural electrification, by the Agence Sénégalaise d’Electrification Rurale.
The project, to be implemented until the end of 2017, has the goal to design a coupon/voucher scheme aimed at reducing the households´ connection costs by making the connection fees affordable to the poor rural population.
Albeit the fact that Senegal has steadily increased electrification rates reaching a national average of 54 percent, with almost fully electrified urban areas, the majority of people in rural areas do not have access to electricity (approximately 76percent), including social services (health centers, schools, etc.). For basic energy needs, households mainly rely on fuelwood for cooking and wicks, and kerosene lamps for lighting.
Gesto is present in Senegal since 2015, having developed the rural electrification program for the country.
The “Agence Sénégalaise d’Electrification Rurale” (Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification – ASER), established in 2000, is the autonomous governmental agency in charge of implementing all rural electrification programs in the country. Between 2000 and 2010, ASER electrified more than 1,000 villages using grid extensions, Solar Home Systems (SHS), and isolated mini-grids connected to diesel generators or solar PV plants. To accelerate the rural electrification efforts, since 2009, ASER adopted a two-pronged concessionaire model to tend concessions for rural areas to private investors under the Rural Electrification Priority Program (PPER) as follows: i) large scale Rural Electrification Concessions (RECs) that are awarded to national or international utilities; and ii) small scale concessions named Local Initiative for Rural Electrification (ERILs), through which local initiatives for electrification can get their initial investment subsidized.