Senegal launches renewable energy training and research program

Senegal launches renewable energy training and research program

French investment firm Meridiam has launched a research and training program focused on renewable energy development in Dakar.

The training program is managed by the International Centre for Training and Research in solar energy (CIFRES), a unit of the Higher Polytechnic School of Dakar (ESP).

About 200 technicians and electricians are expected to receive training in the West African nation. The centre will also feature a specific component devoted to research in renewable energy.

The training aligns with Senegal’s goal to diversify electric power sources. It will also generate employment and facilitate the country’s transition to renewable energies by boosting the national electricity provider’s capacity to manage the production and distribution of solar energy, Ann Weston, the head of the program at the Centre of Research for International Development of Canada (CRDIC) said.

Technical partners of the program are ESP in Dakar and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne through its photovoltaic laboratory.

Senegal has strong potential for renewable energy generation, most of it untapped. So far, hydropower has been partly exploited and contributes 54 MW to the power mix.

Last year Engie and Meridiam inaugurated a 30MW project in Senegal. The plants are part of the Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE), designed to enable the country to reach the target of 20% of renewable energy in its total energy mix and meet Senegal’s commitments under COP21.

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