Accelerating the deployment of renewables in Senegal beyond what is currently in the pipeline has the potential to achieve up to $700 million in savings by 2035, energy firm Wärtsilä Energy stated in its recent study on Senegal’s power market.
Wärtsilä Energy outlined that by leveraging its significant renewable resource base and deploying up to 2,100 MW of capacity by 2035, coupled with energy storage and flexible engine power plants to address intermittence, Senegal can reduce its energy costs while guaranteeing grid reliability and environmental sustainability.
Additionally, renewable deployment can reduce the country’s reliance on thermal power generation, maximize fuels savings and reduce the overall cost of stabilizing the energy supply system in addition to reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.
According to Marc Thiriet, Director – Africa at Wärtsilä Energy, decarbonization across Senegal’s power systems is feasible with the current technologies available on the market, and that, “contrary to popular belief, it’s not going to cost more: it’s going to cost less.”
Thiriet added that, “We have got wind and solar technologies. We have storage technologies and flexible engine power plants for grid balancing, and we have sustainable fuels that we will use to run the balancing power plants when these fuels become more broadly available.”
Kenneth Engblom, Vice President – Africa and Europe at Wärtsilä Energy, believes that other West African countries including Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mauritania have the potential to achieve similar savings as Senegal by speeding up the installation of renewable energy. This opens up lucrative opportunities for both renewable energy and power sector players alike, with renewable energy poised to play a crucial role in electrifying the region while reducing costs as a national level.