Clean Energy Solutions Center Analysis Informs Government of Senegal’s Pathway to 10 MW of Distributed Clean Energy


"The independent, expert support the Clean Energy Solutions Center provided enabled the regulatory commission to identify the necessary steps to implement the tariffs. As such, it helped lay the first milestone toward the NET-FIT policy in Senegal."

– Alexandre Tidiane Bodian, Expert Economist, CRSE

With rapid electricity demand growth and a power system that is heavily reliant on oil, diversifying the electricity mix to support development of a more competitive power sector has long been a priority for the Government of Senegal. Its recent Law and Decree related to a pilot program targeting 10 megawatts (MW) of distributed clean energy envisions a range of clean energy technologies, including biogas and wind power, with a focus on rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV).

To advance this vision, the government sought technical assistance from the Clean Energy Solutions Center, through the U.S. Leadership Compact, on analysis of policy and regulatory frameworks to inform the development of a NET-FIT model. Adopting this model enables customers to use self-produced energy on-site while offering them a regulated rate at which the utility can purchase net excess generation. By implementing this policy, the government aims to lower electricity rates and boost the competitiveness of Senegal’s commercial and small business sectors.

High-Impact Activities

Working closely with the Commission de Régulation du Secteur de l’Electricité (CRSE), the Solutions Center provided analytic and technical information to inform the design of key components of a framework for distributed PV, including:

  • A regulatory bulletin setting out the policy
  • Administrative and regulatory procedures
  • The final tariff table outlining the proposed purchase tariffs for the net excess generation from distributed clean energy projects under 1 MW
  • A presentation outlining the process, methodology, tariff table, and administrative aspects of the policy for stakeholder consultation
  • Supporting documentation for establishing a national website for the program.

Key Takeaways

Along with making it possible for CRSE to identify the necessary steps to implement the tariffs, the Solutions Center’s support enabled CRSE to draw up and submit draft power purchase agreements for public consultation and establish Terms of Reference to support its supervision of the pilot phase of the program to purchase surplus renewable energy. Key Société Nationale d'Électricité du Sénégal (SENELEC) officials responsible for implementing the policy were engaged throughout the project to build knowledge and capacity at the electric utility.

Another key project component was helping to establish transparent administrative procedures enabling citizens and local businesses to invest in the electricity sector. Opening the power sector to a wider range of participants will help mobilize investment, increase competition, and boost energy security.

After the utility finalized its internal procedures for launching the program, the Government of Senegal launched its NET-FIT policy in October 2018. Along with serving to scale up distributed solar power in Senegal, the policy will be critical in helping unlock financing for the country's renewable energy sector and could emerge as a replicable model for other countries to follow (see “Senegal launches Breakthrough Policy for Solar PV”, Toby Couture, LinkedIn Pulse).

Project Impacts

This project directly supports the Government of Senegal’s plans to scale up clean energy investment in the country by:

  • Improving local capacity at SENELEC (the national electricity utility), the regulatory authority, and the Ministry of Oil and Renewable Energy
  • Broadening awareness of policies and programs across the United States and around the world
  • Preparing stakeholders within the Ministry of Oil and Renewable Energy to effectively design and develop the NET-FIT policy
  • Helping mobilize foreign investment while encouraging more domestic innovation and economic activity in the electricity sector
  • Informing the establishment of transparent administrative procedures enabling citizens and local businesses to invest in the electricity sector.