National electricity access rate (2009): 18%Urban: 59%Rural: 12%Access to electricity in Mali more than doubled in the last decade, helped by the introduction of a successful program for rural electrification, AMADER, which widened access to more than 36,000 rural households since 2003.However, there is a substantial rural-urban gap in access. Mali’s population is 13 million, but there are only about 150,000 electricity connections, two-thirds of which are in the capital city of Bamako. The ratio of urban connections to rural connections is fourteen to one. The rural-urban electrification divide reveals that the country’s improvements in service access and quality were either in areas that were already electrified or were a result of extending the network to areas close to an EDM supply point.
Mali’s vision and targets have been formulated in key policy papers.National Energy Policy (NEP): Mali’s energy sector is governed by the NEP, adopted in 2006. The overall objective is to contribute to the country’s sustainable development through the provision of affordable energy services in order to increase access to electricity and promote of socio-economic activities. The specific objectives of the NEP are:Meeting the energy needs in quality, quantity and cost;Ensuring the protection of persons, property and environment against the risks of inappropriate energy services;Strengthening the capacities of policy, management, monitoring and control of the energy sector; andStrengthening the benefits of international cooperation in the field of energy. In terms of guiding principles, these are based on decentralization, liberalization, a programmatic and participatory approach, competitiveness and on the implementation of public-private partnerships.The NEP constitutes a tool for:Establishing a better match between energy availability and national socio-economic development;Fostering synergies between the activities of major stakeholders in the energy sector;Effectively directing the interventions of public and private actors of the energy sector for a rapid, balanced, and sustainable development of the country; andEnsuring a better balance between energy supply and demand with a view to improved access to electrification and reduce geographic unbalances between the grid and off-grid areas covered. National Strategy for the Development of Renewable Energy (2006)The National Strategy for the Development of Renewable Energy adopted in 2006 aims to:Promote the widespread use of renewable energy technologies and equipment to increase the share of renewable energies in national electricity generation up to 10% by 2015;Develop the bio-fuel subsector for various uses (electricity generation, transportation, agricultural motorization, etc.);Create better conditions to sustain renewable energy services; andSearch for sustainable and suitable financing mechanisms for renewable energies.So far, the implementation of this national strategy has not been very successful. The strategy is expected to be revised soon, in line with the revision of the National Energy Policy. National Strategy for the Development of Biofuels (2008)Adopted in June 2008, it aims, firstly, at enhancing affordable local energy production through the development of bio-fuels to meet the country’s socio-economic needs and, secondly, reducing the country’s dependency on oil imports. Energy Sector Policy Letter (2009-2012)In addition to the National Energy Policy, the sector policy framework is complemented by the Energy Sector Policy Letter covering the period between 2009 and 2012. This Letter constitutes a reference and guiding framework of the government’s energy vision. The main goal is to carry out the necessary adjustments and reforms in the electricity subsector, such as the completion of the restructuring of EDM and tariff reforms, and take steps to ensure its sustainable development. It is focusing on the following main objectives: (i) to provide wide access to rural energy services at an affordable cost; (ii) to develop all available renewable energy sources; and (iii) to promote access to finance.The Government has developed its medium term development strategy in the national Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (namely CSCRP). In the CSCRP 2007-2011, the energy sector is considered as a key support sector for the development of the country, as part its third pillar “Infrastructure Development and Support to Productive Sectors”. The Government is currently finalizing its new CSCRP 2012-2017, with the following overall objective: Make Mali an emerging country and an agricultural power with good quality of life for its population. To achieve this goal, the energy sector must be strongly developed, especially the renewable energy sub-sector that has great potential to be scaled up in the country.In addition to the renewable energy strategies mentioned above, the National Action Program for Adaptation to Climate Change (NAPA), submitted and disseminated in 2007, comprises renewable energy projects, some of which have been partially implemented. Furthermore, in 2011, the goverment elaborated a National Climate Change Policy and a National Climate Change Strategy, the two documents integrate renewable energy sources in their action axes.
Solar energyAverage solar radiation in Mali is well distributed over the national territory with an estimated 5-7 kWh/m2/day and a daily sun lighting duration of 7-10 hours. The global typical average is only around 4-5 kWh/m2/day.Wind energyRelatively significant wind energy potential is estimated, depending on the region of Mali. In the Sahelian and Saharan zones, the annual average wind speed is estimated at 3 to 7m/s. A wind resource mapping project is currently under finalisation.Biomass/BiofuelsMali has:in terms of fuel wood, about 33 million hectares with a standing volume of 520 million cubic metres and a weighted productivity in the entire country of about 0.86 cubic metre/ha/year;several million tonnes of agricultural residues and plant waste;an overall annual production capacity of 2,400,000 litres of alcohol since 1997; andabout 2000 hectares of jatropha plantations for sustainable bio-fuel production.Opportunities also exist to develop the capacity of sustainable biomass and biofuel uses, given the strong agricultural base of the economy. In particular, opportunities to scale up biofuel projects, diversifying Jatropha uses for household electrification and to power productive uses for agricultural businesses in rural areas (such as grinders and de-huskers) could be explored further. A specific atlas to estimate the potential of agricultural residues that can be developed for energy generation is under finalisation.HydropowerThe inventory of hydroelectric sites helped to identify about 10 sites mainly situated on the Niger and Senegal River with total estimated power of around 1,150 MW and an annual average energy generation of about 5,000 GWh. Of this potential, about 250 MW have been developed so far: Selingué and Sotuba Hydro Power Plants on the Niger River, Manantali Hydro Power Plant on the Senegal River (whose output is shared with Senegal and Mauritania). Among the potential mini and micro-hydro power sites identified, five represent potential mini-hydro power investments. There are also many sites for micro-hydro power plants.