At present the energy capacity generated from renewable sources in the Gambia is next to zero with 100% being generated from fossil fuels only serving 35% of the population.
High grid extension costs has led to lack of energy access leaving vast areas un-served or underserved, especially the rural poor.
Customer demand for innovative solar products is high, and there is a need, in both rural (beyond the grid) and urban (grid connected) communities for reliable, good quality, safe and clean lighting.
There is little private sector activity in the solar PV sector, and active commercial markets are yet to develop.
Renewable Energy potential
Investing in the Gambia's future
The Gambia situation
The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, it sits on the West African coast and has a population of 1.9 million. The West African energy system as a whole faces a number of interrelated challenges: low energy access, unstable energy security and increasing environmental degradation. In the Gambia electricity is a key challenge in terms of both quality and access with 65% of the population lacking access to electricity. The Gambia needs to overcome its dual challenges of energy access and security of supply, which cut across all sectors and have an impact on all Gambians.
High biomass dependency
Current biomass use is contributing heavily to land degradation and deforestation; fuel wood, accounts for about 60% of the country’s energy supply and more than 90% of household energy consumption.
Amongst lowest electricity consumers in the world
The Gambian consumers present per capita electricity consumption is 136 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year against an African average of over 575 kWh and a global average of over 2770 kWh.
This makes the average Gambian citizen among the lowest consumers of electricity in the world.
Imported fuel dependency
The high dependence on imported fuel is unsustainable for the economy and wider society. At present, consumers pay the highest electricity tariffs in the West Africa region partially due to the high reliance on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation, as well as its poor transmission and distribution infrastructure. The Gambian energy system is in desperate need of innovative solutions that can have supportive functions within the society and act as developmental drivers.