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Identification of a tidal turbine technology for the electrification of small communities in the Republic of Congo




In the Republic of Congo, the electricity distribution network does not serve remote towns, those with low population density, and where industrial activities are non-existent. The electrification of localities not yet connected to the main electricity grid is especially done through the installation of diesel generators. This fortuitous option is too expensive for rural populations, because of the use and transport of fuel in these localities, which are often difficult to access, but also because of the operation and maintenance of the same installations. Generating sets are also a principal source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

In recent years, the country has been engaged in the construction of hydroelectric dams, which are installed close to major urban centres and industrial zones. Unfortunately, small communities are still deprived of this service and continue to use generators. In line with the implementation of the rural electrification policy, with clean energy and aware of the fact that Congo benefits from a dense hydrographic network, an end-of-training engineer's thesis on the electrification of a locality in southern Congo, carried out by a student of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique (ENSP) of the University of Brazzaville, evaluated the energy demand at about 338,679 kW. Thus, anticipating parameters such as natural population growth, it is envisaged that energy needs will increase, hence the opportunity to explore the possibility of withdrawing the use of generators, a source of GHG emissions, and replacing them with hydroelectric installations. It is in this perspective that the Government of the Republic of Congo has addressed a request for technical assistance to the CTCN, with a view to creating a pilot site to be duplicated in other localities of the country. The main objective of the project is to identify a suitable technology and equipment for the production of hydropower via a tidal turbine system for the electrification of a small locality in Kibossi as a pilot site. 

CTCN Support

  • Electricity demand and infrastructure analysis;
  • Hydropower assessment;
  • Identification and comparative analysis of hydropower technology options;
  • Hydropower concept design;
  • Financial and business model analysis;
  • Implementation plan and communication

Expected Impact

•    Successful pilot project on small hydropower plant at the locality of Kibossi;
•    Reduction of GHG emissions;
•    Improvement of energy supply;
•    Upscaling of the technology based on the successful pilot project.

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