Madagascar, as with many African countries, has long faced difficult decisions over which energy resources to use. This is not helped by the pressure on individuals and communities living in relative poverty and the pressure on a worldwide stage for countries to embrace renewable energies. Recently in Madagascar though, the response seems to be going well!
So what is this ‘response'? A memorandum presented by Fluidic Energy (a company offering energy storage in Africa, Asia and the Americas) proposes using renewable, battery-based energy for over 100 (often remote) communities through the introduction of mini grid power systems (1). In many of these remote communities getting any energy is a positive but now there is the opportunity for clean, reliable and renewable power in one of the largest energy projects in the continent.
Fluidic energy and their partners will manage the energy storage for around 400,000 people, mostly using solar energy – already introduced in Madagascar. This builds on another energy positive – last month, 65 million$ was granted to try and enhance Madagascar’s struggling energy sector and build a promising link between World Bank and Madagascar (2).
This makes Madagascar the third country, after Zambia and Senegal, to join the ‘Scaling Solar’ program and it is hoped that this will ease the daily interruption of power. “A reliable supply of electricity will support growth in Madagascar's economy, and improve lives for individuals, families, and businesses,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Regional Director for East and Southern Africa. “’Scaling Solar’ is an innovative World Bank Group initiative that reflects a commitment to supporting developing while protecting the environment” (3). Of course only time will tell how successful this scheme will be, but for Madagascar this seems to be a positive move – a step into the sun!
Energy in Madagascar has made the news in other ways too – by highlighting the problem of Global warming. Recently ‘Earth Hour’ took place – a global movement involving turning off all lights for the hour and managing without electricity. On Saturday19th March in Madagascar, thousands of people took to rallies including parades, exhibitions and school events… even a candle-lit dance class! All bringing the country together and putting pressure on leaders to react to Global Warming – Madagascar wasn’t to be left out! (4)
MoneyForMadagascar has already played a part in helping the people of Madagascar to find new, sustainable and reliable energy sources, for instance by supporting partners that provide solar power to 34 rural primary schools in the Education For Life programme.
To find out more about what we do in Madagascar and to see how you can play a part in Madagascar's new solar solutions, please visit https://www.moneyformadagascar.org.
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By Matthew Ward
- Energy Business Review 04/04/2016 http://utilitiesretail.energy-business-review.com/news/fluidic-energy-signs-mou-with-madagascar-to-provide-energy-storage-systems-to-100-communities-in-africa-4855196
- Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live News 24/03/2016, http://www.energylivenews.com/2016/03/24/65m-support-for-madagascars-power-sector/
- Sarah Owermohle, CPI Financial 28/03/2016, http://www.cpifinancial.net/news/post/35268/ifc-supports-solar-energy-in-madagascar
- WWF, www.wwf.com, 19/3/2016 http://www.wwf.mg/?263870/Earth-Hour-2016-in-Madagascar-Shines-a-Light-on-Climate-Leaders