EURICA: Europe & Africa cooperation, from grid digitization to sustainable energy for all

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Work Package (WP)

The EURICA project will be developed as LEAP-RE WP 15


The project will be implemented in Burkina Faso and Madagascar


Lead: Odit-e

Overall Objectives

The challenge of the African electrification needs a new, innovative model to answer both short-term and long-term requirements: a fast development of the access of the entire African population to an electrical service and the construction of a reliable, decarbonised, decentralized and intelligent, electrical infrastructure able to accompany the sustainable development of the continent. The two classical methods answer separately those requirements through individual electrification and the deployment of a massive electrification for all through capital-intensive transport and distribution networks. The proposed scheme in EURICA combines a top down and a bottom-up approach to bring together those two classical methods and to address both the short-term and long-term challenges.

One Nanogrid of Nanoé in Madagascar
Context: why is the action necessary?

The solution will enable to increase reliability of power while integrating more renewable energy. This increase in renewable share implies a decrease in GHGs emission substituting the use of costly fossil energy.

Consequently, it will mitigate energy poverty and properly leverage electricity towards economic development enabling its productive usages. Particularly, productive usages such as cold storage and food activities (fish and meat sales, catering…) support employment mainly occupied by women. Moreover, the development of appropriate business models will improve energy affordability, limit social exclusion and create direct job opportunities associated with manufacturing, installation, exploitation and maintenance.

What are the concrete actions that will be implemented?

The EURICA project will embed 2 pilots project in which technological, sociological and organizational aspects will be enhanced to reach a better electrification strategy. The pilots respectively take place in Madagascar and Burkina Faso, countries where 24,1% and 25,5% of the population has access to electricity on average (World Bank, 2017).

The first one called “bottom-up approach” will achieve interconnection of several Nanogrids (i.e. small collective solar systems connecting 4 to 6 neighboring domestic users) within a village-wide balancing Microgrid. After a development phase based on a close cooperation between a French public energy engineering laboratory (G2ELab based in Grenoble) and Nanoé, the field testing will be conducted in the rural village of Ambohimena, Madagascar, which represents approximately 120 households in which over 75% of the habitants are cacao and/or rice cultivators with an average revenue below 800 $/hhld/year. In this village, 90 users have already been connected to 20 Nanogrids. The field test will allow upgrading the electric service delivered to them and connecting a dozen of additional Tier-1 or Tier-2 users, and productive loads such as fridges, communal rice mill or drinkable water pumping and treatment plant. The second one called “top-down approach” will carry out an optimization solution for existing urban low voltage networks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This solution will be based on smart meters and IoT. It will prevent power cuts due to local overloads by sharing the power the grid can really supply throughout the day and among the consumers accordingly to their needs and means. Moreover, a digital modelling will assess the insertion capacity of the grid and promote the consumption of local photovoltaic production in place of generators.

Smart metering testing by SONABEL in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
What is the expected impact of the WP?
  •  Energy reliability improvement for African who already have access to electricity (SAIDI improvement of 20%)
  • Build on existing individual electrification already started for bottom up approach in rural areas which enable a “productive use” of energy up to 30% available for fridges/electric motor/etc…
  • Women employment increase thanks to productive electricity availability
  • Local operators’ involvement and trainings for capacity building
  • Promoting research exchange between IST (Madagascar) et G2ELAB (France)