On June 25th 2014 the Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES) in the Netherlands and its company SSD-EN SA Yeelen Kura, inaugurated 8 hybrid mini-grids.

 

Prime minister Mali cuts the ribbon

After 3 years of operation the inaugurated 8 hybrid mini-grids will be used for the power supply of the localities of Koumantou, Kignan, Yorosso, Niena, M’pessoba, Kouri, Ourikela and Kolondiéba.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the village of Koumantou and was held in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali, His Excellency Moussa MARA, the governments of the Netherlands and the Russian Federation and representatives of donors and other international organisations.

The project of 8 hybrid mini-grids has a total installed capacity of 550 kWp in the localities mentioned above: six hybrid mini-grids with an installed capacity of 350 kWp were funded by the Malian Government (AMADER) / World Bank (Russian Trust Fund) and FRES/NUON, and two hybrid mini-grids with an installed capacity of 200 kWp were funded by the government of the Netherlands (DGIS) and FRES/NUON. These projects represent a serious alternative to generators for the electrification of rural areas with no access to the national grid.

Socio-economic development

Through the provision of electricity to households and small/medium businesses, Yeelen Kura contributes to the fight against poverty by creating jobs and improving living conditions in rural areas. Conditions of health centres have also been improved; for example by allowing the conservation of vaccines in refrigerators and by ensuring deliveries in the best conditions, especially in the evening. In schools, pupils have good lighting for homework in the evening. The use of solar energy to produce electricity means less in-door pollution, less risk of fire due to the limited use of candles and less pollution to the environment.

Broader perspectives

The 5.643 customers in Mali (households and small/medium businesses) mark, until today, the beginning of a much larger expansion. In 2012, 1.3 billion people, i.e. 20% of the world population, had no access to electricity. The UN has declared 2014-2024 the decade of “Sustainable Energy for All”, and now aims to mobilize all stakeholders with three objectives: provide universal access to electricity, double the global rate for improving energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The FRES approach has proven to be a good concept for electrification and rural socio-economic development. This is recognized by the World Bank and other national and international donors through the finance of projects to stimulate the implementation of wider access to electricity. The implementation and the success of such projects have had a catalytic effect in regard to the decision by the Malian government, the World Bank and other partners to invest more in such activities in the coming years.

More information

Read more about FRES and the project in the  full press release.