Energy sector in Mali
The energetic consumption of Mali is at 78% biomass. Charcoal or wood are used at 99% as a source of energy by households which represent themselves ¾ of the energy of the country. Only 25% of the population has access to electricity principally in urban areas. And hydroelectricity represents 70% of the electricity produced. The over-harvesting of wood is a major ecologic threat to Mali’s natural areas. The lack of cheap and reliable energy sources is also a major holdback to economic development.
The challenge is not only to provide more energy, but to provide high quality energy that is renewable, clean and cheaper.
The energy problem should be tackled at 2 complementary levels:
Mali like many other developing countries has the advantage to have a low consumption of energy compare to developed countries. Nevertheless, this consumption is uncontrolled and already has had dramatic consequences on the environment. The economic development of the country and rise in standard of living of the Malians will lead to an increase in that consumption. It is then necessary to implement development policies in favor of sustainable solutions and energy conservation.
Policies must favor technologies consuming less energy and material goods with longer life span. Concerning transportation, it is important to develop an efficient public transportation system combining water ways, railroad, eco-friendly vehicles (lower carbon emission, using biofuel, bicycles…) to control carbon emission and segmentation of ecosystems but ensuring the freedom of move of the inhabitants.
Mali has a huge potential of renewable energy: solar power, hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and biofuel.
Diversification of energy sources will allow Mali to get out of the oil trap, which represents a important deficit (in average 4,402 barrel imported per day) and the overexploitation of biomass representing a major ecological risk. Every region has different renewable potential that should be exploited spreading the pressure on the environment and reducing the impact of human activities.
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