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Meridiam and IDRC announce training and research program in renewable energies

February 11, 2019
IDRC and Meridiam are pleased to announce funding of approximately CA$600,000 (400,000 Euros) for a research and training program dedicated to renewable energies in Senegal.

Led by the Centre International pour la Formation et la Recherche en Énergie Solaire of the École Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar, the program aims to train approximately 200 technicians and electricians working in Senegal’s electricity sector. It will also provide technical support to companies and an applied research component adapted to the regional context. It will be implemented by the Centre de tests de systèmes solaires photovoltaïque (photovoltaic solar system test centre).

“This is a very innovative collaboration highlighting the complementary skills and expertise of IDRC and Meridiam, as well as our common interest in sustainable development in West Africa,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel.

In West Africa, an average of only 52% of people have access to electricity, with power outages up to 80 hours per month, according to the World Bank. At $0.25 per kilowatt hour, electricity in the region costs twice as much as the global average. A great deal of work remains in order to achieve universal electrification by 2030, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 for affordable and clean energy.

“This university project is a way for us, as long-term investors, to develop the renewable energy sector in Africa, particularly in Senegal. It also supports our continued commitment to developing capacity in Africa, a crucial factor to accelerate the deployment of projects and to meet needs,” said Meridiam Chairman and CEO Thierry Deau.

The training aligns with Senegal’s goal to diversify electric power sources. It will also generate employment and facilitate the country’s transition to renewable energies by boosting the national electricity provider’s capacity to manage the production and distribution of solar energy.