Improving Power Sector Planning in Senegal

A transmission line in Thiès, Senegal, at sunset.

Predicting power usage is critical to determining how much electricity generation capacity a country requires to meet demand and spur economic growth. In Senegal, a modernized forecasting tool developed with Power Africa assistance will help the national utility make informed energy infrastructure investment decisions to reach universal electricity access by 2025.

In support of Senegal’s power sector development strategy, Power Africa worked with the national electric utility, Senelec, to develop a power system planning tool that improves energy demand forecasting.

This strategic assistance will help Senelec better forecast short and long term energy demand and plan necessary investments in power infrastructure. Without the ability to reliably predict demand, utilities can incur financial losses in the case of over-investment, or fail to cover electricity needs in the case of under-investment, leading to power outages and limited advancement of electrification programs. The new planning tool also assists the utility to better prepare for unforeseen circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the modernized planning tool, Senelec relied on an internal demand forecast modeling tool that did not provide a detailed forecast of the energy demand by region, weather, and usage conditions. Power demand forecasts were often unreliable, leading to inaccurate estimations of necessary investments to develop power infrastructure.

The more advanced planning tool, introduced by Power Africa, enables Senelec to make better investment decisions about power generation capacities, transmission and distribution grid expansion, and supports the country’s goal to achieve universal electricity access by 2025. Initial tests, conducted in collaboration with Senelec, demonstrated positive results and more accurate forecasts.

Power Africa provided training to Senelec staff on the new forecast modeling tool to promote best practices and long-term sustainability of the tool. With this new tool and capacity building activities, Senelec can prepare improved master plans that will optimize power system development.

Prior to the power system planning tool, Power Africa worked with the Government of Senegal to identify investment strategies that strengthen Senegal’s energy sectors performance in the short and long term. This work to build a more sustainable energy future for millions of West Africans was coordinated with Power Africa partners including the World Bank, France, and the European Union.

“Senelec thanks the whole Power Africa team for this support to modernizing the forecast modeling tool that is essential for power system planning,” Mme Faty Diallo, Senelec Director in charge of Power System Development Planning.

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Power Africa

Power Africa

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 > https://bit.ly/2yPx3lJ