Innovation for productive energy in Southern Mali

PEP Mali

Action in progress


2016 - 2018

Background and challenges

  • In Mali, where only 18% of rural areas have access to electricity, the energy challenge is considerable. In the rural town of Koury, as in many other booming areas of Mali, the population has doubled over the last 10 years. In response to this new demand, the number of micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has also increased sharply. Their development is held back, however, by the difficulty in
    accessing a source of energy suited to their needs (power, schedule, etc.).
  • In fact, despite the presence of a minigrid operated by the distributed energy services company (DESCO) Yeelen Kura, energy supply only covers needs from 4 p.m. until midnight, severely curtailing the activities of these businesses, which tend to operate during the day. This particularly affects MSMEs in the processing or services sectors, which need an almost continuous supply.
  • On the electrification operator’s side, the sizing of the power plant (solar/thermal hybrid) means that it is presently impossible to supply the businesses appropriately from the grid without threatening the plant’s technical and economic capability.
  • Nevertheless, the MSMEs do represent a commercial opportunity for the DESCO, which as things stand cannot be taken up: the MSMEs are willing to pay more per kWh to ensure their development; they operate during the day when the solar power plant produces more with limited storage costs and, finally, unlike domestic customers, these MSMEs can relocate so as not to disrupt the grid.

Objectives and proposed solutions

The objective is therefore to bring small enterprises closer to the existing minigrids, establishing the right conditions to meet their energy needs on a sustainable basis.

  • Through physical closeness, resolving the technical constraints on supplying substantial power output. When 10 – 20 small enterprises are grouped together on the same site, the electrification operator can integrate these new customers directly in its grid without disrupting its initial service.
  • And through a closer commercial relationship between the MSMEs and operator, so that a specific business tariff can be set whereby the enterprises are guaranteed access to energy 24/7.
Funder partners
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
  • Fondation Nexans
  • Fonds de dotation Synergie Solaire
Technical partners
  • La SSD « Yeelen Kura »
  • AMADER Agence Malienne pour le Développement de l’Energie Domestique et l’Electrification Rurale
  • ASAOK, Association des artisans et ouvriers de Koury
  • Commune de Koury

Related theme

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