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Governmental Framework

Governmental framework

Following institutional reform in 1998, Senegal’s electricity sector was split into three entities: Senelec, the national utility, the National Rural Electrification Agency (Agence Sénégalaise d’Electrification Rurale, ASER) and the Electricity Regulatory Board (Commission de Régulation au Secteur de l’Electricité, CRSE). Senegal has also introduced energy-sector reforms with a strong focus on promoting renewable energy. The current energy policy is reflected in the Lettre de Développement du Secteur de l’Energie, a government strategy that builds on lessons learned from previous energy policies. The emphasis on renewable energy has resulted in the adoption of two laws aiming at increasing the share of renewables and biofuels. The renewable energy legislation provides for a feed-in tariff, although this has not yet been implemented.

Governmental institutions

Ministère de l’Énergie et du Développement des Énergies Renouvelables (MEDER)

The Council of Ministers takes major energy-related decisions, especially with regard to on-grid electricity. The Ministry of Energy and Renewable Energy Development (Ministère de l’Énergie du Développement des Énergies Renouvelables, MEDER) is the lead agency in charge of formulating, coordinating and setting overall objectives, policies, strategies and general directives for the entire energy sector and the renewable energy sub-sector. It is also authorised to issue directives to Senelec. The current minister is Thierno Allassane Sall.


Senelec (Société National d’Électricité du Sénégal)

The National Electricity Utility (Société Nationale d’Électricité du Sénégal, Senelec) is a state-owned enterprise that holds a monopoly on electricity transmission and distribution. The utility also owns about half of all generating capacity. The remainder is owned by IPPs that sell exclusively to Senelec. The company has gone through several phases of privatisation. Its priority is to strengthen generating capacity and implement organisational restructuring.


Commission de Régulation du Secteur de l’Électricité (CRSE)

The Electricity Regulatory Board (CRSE) is an independent authority formed in 1998 in order to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all stakeholders, responsible for regulating the production, transport, distribution and sale of electric energy in Senegal. It also provides consultancy services to the Ministry of Energy. The Board of the organisation is comprised of three members, including a Chairman appointed by governmental decree and technical members who advise the government on the removal of institutional barriers to bridging the supply/demand gap and protecting consumer interests. Funding for the organisation comes from fees derived from licensed sector actors, and appraisal fees for the CRSE’s services.


Agence Sénégalaise d’Électrification Rurale (ASER)

The National Rural Electrification Agency (Agence Sénégalaise d’Electrification Rurale, ASER) was founded in 2000 and became operational in 2005 and is the governmental agency which is charged with the task of mostly off-grid rural electrification and in general for implementing the rural electrification strategy (PASER). ASER tends the concessions for rural areas for private investors and finances 70% of the projects. Urban electricity supply remained within the responsibility of SENELEC/CRSE with villages close to the grid and those electrified before 2000 also falling under Senelec’s remit. It is financed by the Senegalese government and international donors.


IPPs and Private Distribution Companies

In the late 1990s Senegal became one of the first countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to introduce private sector participation in the electricity industry. The first IPP was GTi, operating a 52 MW combined cycle oil-fired power plant. IPPs face numerous challenges such as variations in the quality of fuel delivered, grid instability and other technical difficulties which have reduced output from their plants. Some of these issues have been resolved and the Senegalese government remains committed to relying on private-sector investment to close the shortfall in supply.


The National Union of Industry and Retail Workers of Senegal (Union Nationale des Commercants et Industriels du Senegal, UNACOIS) is the largest business association in Senegal, with 80,000 members, of which nearly 70% operate in the informal sector. UNACOIS is a strong proponent of economic and trade liberalisation, calling for the abolition of import monopolies and supporting policies that benefit its broad-based membership.


Cooperation programmes


PERACOD is a co-operation programme between the Senegalese government and GiZ managed by the Ministry of Energy, is aimed at increasing rural energy access through the deployment of domestic fuels and renewable energy. Running from 2004 the programme advises regional and local institutions on improving energy policies, creating suitable institutions and promoting rural electrification as well as on the integration of private energy producers and energy generation from renewable sources. It also supports a sustainable and diversified domestic fuel supply and also tackles the concrete needs of rural electrification in partnership with ASER.


Strategies, Policies, Acts, and Regulations Governing Renewable Energy

Lettre de Développement du Secteur de l’Énergie (LPDSE)

Senegal launched its comprehensive energy planning initiative in 1997 with the Lettre de Développement du Secteur de l’Energie (LPDSE). It has been revised several times. The 2012 policy outlined objectives for improving performance in the medium term. The main targets are: (a) ensuring energy security and increasing energy access for all; (b) developing a policy mix that combines thermal generation, bio-energy, coal, gas and renewables, and seizing opportunities for regional interconnections; (c) continuing and accelerating energy-sector liberalisation by encouraging independent production and institutional reform in the industry; (d) improving the competitiveness of the sector in order to lower the cost of energy and reduce sector subsidies; and (e) strengthening regulation of the sector; (f) reducing energy demand and increasing energy efficiency; (g) increasing share of hydropower through the participation in regional cooperation projects such as the Western Africa Power Pool (WAPP) as well as further mentions on security of supply of oil products and increasing the electrification rates in rural areas.

Electricity Act 1998 (Law no. 98-29)

The enactment of the Electricity Act 1998 opened up the energy sector and paved the way for private-sector investment in electricity generation, as well as establishing the CRSE. It was amended in 2002 in order to provide a greater level of transparency to the procedures for inviting private sector tenders.

Renewable Energy Act 2010 and Proposed Strategy

The regulatory framework in Senegal is mainly comprised of several decrees promulgated on an irregular basis. The two most recent and most important decrees for implementing the Renewable Energy Act were issued in December 2011. They lay down the conditions for purchasing and paying for electricity generated by renewable energy plants, the conditions for connecting these plants to the grid, and the conditions for purchasing and paying for surplus electricity from captive power plants that generate electricity from renewables. However, reduced taxes and customs duties applicable to renewable energy equipment are only considered on a case-by-case basis. The decrees are therefore aimed at eliminating inefficiencies, decreasing the cost of supply to consumers and promoting development funding for the energy sector.

Decree No. 2011-2013 provides conditions of power purchase and remuneration for electricity generated by renewable energy plants and the conditions of their connection to the grid. It also provides the formula for the avoided cost which serves as a reference for calculating the power purchase price cap. It also contains elaboration on renewable power purchase obligation and feed-in tariffs for different renewable energy technologies.

Decree No. 2011-2014 specifies the conditions for purchasing surplus renewable electricity from self-producers. Among other provisions it sets the maximum intake from renewable energy sources (variable power), the purchase price, as well as conditions for purchases of surplus energy and connection to the grid.

Proposed Renewable Energy Strategy

The National Action Plan for Renewable Energy (Plan d’Actions National des Energies Renouvelables, PANER) developed under the auspices of ECREEE encompasses targets and objectives that aim to inform the national strategy. The sector is however awaiting the confirmation of the renewable energy development policy, which has been under development since 2011. The policy is said to aim for a share of 10% or 400 MW for renewables in the country’s electricity mix by 2020 with other sources mentioning even higher targets. The technologies that are expected to contribute are still to be announced but PV and wind seem likely to be preferred. The policy envisages a master plan aimed at developing flagship projects and identifying funding sources. It also emphasises the need to strengthen training and research and development in order to maintain and improve the effectiveness of the legal and institutional framework when it comes to promoting renewable energy investments.

In any case, it will be aided by the government’s Plan for an Emerging Senegal (Plan Sénégal Emergent, PSE) adopted in 2012 which through its long-term vision promoting sound economic and social policies also integrates the notion of geographically more equally distributed energy services as well as a better conjugation of energy with the strategically important sectors such as industry and agriculture – also by the promotion of clean energy.

Key figures

Available statistics:
Official language
Population (2018 est.)
Population growth (2018 est.), %
Median age (2018 est.), years
Urbanization rate (2015 - 2018), % p.a.
Urban population (2018), % of total
Rural population (2018), % of total
Population density (2018), per km2
HDI (2018)
165 of 188
National Currency
West African CFA franc (XOF/CFA)
Exchange rate (July 2019), USD
1 USD = 600 XOF
GDP (2018), USD million current
GDP growth (2018), %
GDP annual growth rate forecast (2020), %
GNI per capita (2018), PPP current int’l USD
Inflation (2019), % y-o-y
Inflation Rate Forecast (2020), %
Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (2017), BOP current USD millions
Net official development assistance (2017), current USD millions
Budget deficit (2017), % of GDP
Ease of Doing Business (2018), rank of 190
TI Corruption Index (2018), rank of 180
Installed Generation Capacity (2017), MW
Installed Fossil Fuel Capacity (2016), % of total installed capacity
Hydro Capacity (2017), % of total installed capacity
Other RE Capacity (2017), % of total installed capacity
Renewable electricity output as % of total electricity output excl. hydro (2017)
Avg. distribution and transmission losses as % of output (2016)
Net electricity imports (2017), kWh
Electrification rate, total (2017) %
Electrification rate, urban (2017) %
Electrification rate, rural (2017) %
Peak demand (2015), MW
Per capita electricity consumption (2016), kWh
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