Access to energy is a vital development lever, for not only urban or industrial but also rural areas.
The challenge is twofold: both to facilitate appropriate access to energy from renewable sources and at the same time ensure that such access is sustainable and environmentally friendly at both local and global level. Renewable energy means that we must rethink the existing patterns, starting from the territory, its resources and needs.
Tackling this twofold challenge forms the core of the work of GERES and its expertise team, focusing on four key imperatives.
i. First, start from precise facts and appraisals, refraining from all prejudices and dogmatism. Only reality counts, together with technical, social, economic and environmental constraints.
ii. Second, try to start from what exists. Energy access and use are relatively complex issues. It is easier to adapt existing solutions to a new context than to develop new practices made to measure for each situation.
iii. Third, be in a position to observe the newly developed solution by including an analysis of the related fields which will be influenced by energy access (town-planning, jobs, inequalities, etc.). Whether in cases of initial electrification or increase in service quality, energy access is bound to have an effect on the territory and alter existing social and economic balances.
iv. Fourth and last, question the continuity of the solution in the long term. Is the solution economically viable? Does it make sustainable use of available resources? Can it go hand in hand with big changes in society, starting with demographic changes?
The services we offer
Our energy access service
In response to the needs of GERES in-house projects and for the purposes of studies or support to external projects, we offer the following services:
- Energy assessment: analysis of energy access and use, identification of constraints and opportunities, observation of interesting practices to replicate
- Technical/economic analysis of appropriate solutions for rural areas, with particular emphasis on solar solutions or locally produced biofuels
- Supporting the development of economic activities in connection with rural electrification, whether through national rural electrification projects or specific solutions (e.g. the Electrified Enterprise Zone)
- Training and support for local players (especially elected councillors) and thinking about their roles and responsibilities
- Evaluation and capitalization
Our project and assessment references
- Rural energy assessment
- Energy assessment of the Linguère and Ranérou-Ferlo departments
- Sustainable development of local biofuel supply chains and energy services in South-East Mali
Trained as an energy and environment engineer at the Ecole Centrale in Paris, Benjamin Pallière has been working for over nine years on projects aiming to improve energy access and use in rural West Africa on behalf of GERES. Drawing on four years’ experience in the field in Mali (Koutiala), followed by five years' supporting field projects, he has operational knowledge of the supply and use of energy in rural situations. Within the GERES West Africa regional team and then the internal experts team, he is responsible for technical and economic analysis of energy access projects at the design, implementation and monitoring stages.
Since 2011, he has worked on monitoring rural electrification clients, especially in Mali, but also in Benin and Senegal. In particular, his work targets the rural production sector which finds it hard to access energy through decentralized grids. He takes part in developing solutions to make it easier for a rural electrification business to connect these productive clients, especially through the Electrified Enterprise Zones (ZAE) currently developed by GERES in areas not connected to the national grid. He works on the question of energy choices, monitoring projects in the field which use different sources of energy: hybrid solar power plants, generators and biofuels. He took part in a pre-feasibility study on solar hybridization of 60 thermal power plants in Mali.