28 of February 2018

ALER's field trip to Guinea Bissau

Dear readers,


During the month of February I had the pleasure to visit Guinea Bissau to carry out ALER’s field trip to the country which will be, along with São Tomé and Principe, one of our priority countries for the year 2018.


Within the project Promoting investments in small to medium scale renewable energy technologies in the electricity sector of Guinea Bissau in partnership with UNIDO, ECREEE, the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Guinea Bissau and with the support of GEF, this trip also aimed to introduce and disseminate the project to the several stakeholders of the energy sector in Guinea Bissau. This mission had also the purpose to invite them to contribute with relevant information to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Guinea Bissau - National Status Report that ALER will publish with support from TESE and to participate in the Guinea Bissau Sustainable Energy Investment Workshop that will take place on May 4 in Lisbon, as a side event to the SEforALL Forum.


This trip was very productive and included meetings with several entities, both public and private, which allowed to extend ALER’s contacts network and to engage in cooperation and information sharing with the relevant national and international entities in the energy sector. 


I was honoured to meet several representatives of the Government, namely with the General Directorate for Planning and the Directorate of Investment within the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the General Directorate for Energy, the Directorate for Renewable and Domestic Energies and with the Directorate of Production and Rural Electrification Services within the Ministry of Energy and Industry. All of them showed great interest in working together with ALER and jointly promote renewable energies in Guinea Bissau.


It was also possible to identify and meet with some companies that are currently developing renewable energy projects in Guinea Bissau, showing private sector is active and interested in this market, which ALER will strive to promote as it is the main goal of this project.


It is important to note that the Ministry of Energy and Industry, with the support of its partners, has been developing in the last years, several documents under the Sustainable Energy for All Campaign (SEforALL) for the promotion of renewable energies in Guinea Bissau foreseeing private sector participation, namely the National Action Plan for Renewable Energies (PANER), the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (PANEE), the Action Agenda for Sustainable Energy for All and the Investment Prospectus for Sustainable Energy in Guinea Bissau (only available in PT). I recommend you to consult all the documents, especially in the Investment Prospectus, which lists and details all renewable energy projects planned in the country, with information about partners and financing.


To achieve all these energy sector transformations the support from Government partners is critical, whether from multilateral or bilateral institutions, with focus on the African Development Bank, the European Union and the West African Economic and Monetary Union, with whom I also had the opportunity to meet.


I also met with educational, training and awareness raising institutions about renewable energy, since the training of qualified national human resources is one of the countries needs and one of the priority areas for ALER, which we will do our best to promote. On this matter we would like to highlight the visit to the Industrial Training Centre (CENFI) and the meeting with the NGO Ajuda para o Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo (ADPP) who presented its training projects related to renewable energies in rural areas.


Invited by Prosolia, I also had the privilege to visit the photovoltaic power plant of Bissorã which is almost finished, currently undertaking the tariff and management model study, which is expected to be concluded in the next few months. With a total capacity of 500 kW this power plant will benefit the rural population and is one more good example of mini-grids in Guinea Bissau.


The support from Eng. Julio António Raul, Renewable Energy Director at the Ministry of Energy and Industry, was crucial for the success of this trip. I would therefore like to leave him a special thank you note.


We are very excited to work in partnership with all national stakeholders to promote the great potential of renewable energies in Guinea Bissau and we take this opportunity to invite you all to be present at the Guinea Bissau Sustainable Energy Investment Workshop, organized as a side event of the SEforALL Forum, which will take place on the 4th of May 2018 in Lisbon, between 2 and 6 pm.


Guinea Bissau set a target of 80% access to electricity services by 2030. No doubt this is an ambitious target but together we will be able to reach it!


We count on you and everyone else!


Susana Pinto

Project and Communication Assistant of ALER