Senegal adopts renewable energy law

Senegalese parliamentarians have praised a new law aimed at promoting an enhanced renewable energy production. The bill, named Guidance on Renewable Energy, was adopted unanimously by the country’s Parliament and attracted praises for its innovative nature.

Among the objectives of the law are that it seeks to secure supplies in sufficient quantities and the best quality, durability and cost, as well as increase people’s access to modern energy services and reduce vulnerability to pollution from fossil fuels.
It “materialized the pioneering vision of a proactive president,” said Minister of Renewable Energies, Biofuels and Aquaculture, Therese Coumba Diop. She said Senegal was a non-oil producer whose authorities have understood the need to turn to non-fossil energy.
“Nature has endowed Senegal of solar energy. We have a potential of 3,000 hours of sunshine that we can develop,” she said.  According to Minister Therese Coumba Diop, with the passage of this “law of social orientation,” Senegal might exceed its targets for development of renewable energy.
“The proportion of renewable energy of 0.6% is very close to the government’s target rate of 15% in 2015. This goal can be surpassed with this new law on renewable energy,” she said.
The law has been welcomed by a wide section of the Senegalese community, more so ecologists.  “Today is a great day for all ecologists in Senegal. To allow every citizen to produce the energy they need is a salutary measure. It’s good to exploit the riches which God has given us,” said MP and Secretary General of the Rally of Ecologists of Senegal, Ousmane Sow. He told MPs that his colleagues in the field would be happy about the development.
But some other members wouldn’t be totally carried away by the general ecstasy surrounding the passing of the law; they sought assurances from the minister to support related proposals earlier made by President Abdoulaye Wade. One member specifically cited the Sub-Sahara solar power plant proposal President Wade made at the Copenhagen Summit.
Abdoulaye Sene, Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Development and Planning, challenged the Minister to initiate discussions with the private sector and to promote tax incentives to encourage local entrepreneurs’ involvement in the schemes. He also called for the installation of solar equipment in offices, schools and community houses.
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