The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) demonstrated its “Energy Vision” through the implementation of the Kaleta Hydropower Dam situated on the Konkoure River, approximately 120km from Guinea’s capital Conakry. The Kaleta Dam harnesses renewable (hydropower) energy resources in order for households, businesses and industries to gain energy access, not only in Guinea but for West Africa. The growth and improvement of resourceful, dependable, cost effective, and ecologically friendly energy infrastructure is a stepping stone towards poverty eradication and sustainable development in the region.

Socio-Economic-Impacts-and Regional Power Distribution

As part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Energy Efficiency Policy, a long-term energy strategy was announced by the Guinean government to alleviate the energy crisis that has been hindering the development of the country. As a result, the implementation of the Kaleta hydropower plant improved energy access for the population of Guinea by adding 240 MW to the national electricity grid. In addition, it has widened the potential of businesses to expand, create more jobs as well as to increase the confidence for further investments in West Africa. In essence, the Kaleta Dam has a positive impact on the country’s socio-economic development as Guinea’s hydroelectric generating capacity increased from 2012 levels of 128 MW to 368 MW, almost tripling its mounted hydro capability. In addition, power generated from the dam plays a noteworthy part in providing unswerving power for Conakry’s 1.7 million citizens.

The development of renewable energy by means of the Kaleta Hydropower Dam was brought to fruition in 2015 after three years of construction. The Dam is resourceful in meeting the power demands of Guinea and an estimation of 30% of Kaleta’s output is intended to go to neighbouring Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. At the core, the electricity generated at Kaleta feeds into the operation of the West African Power Pool’s vision of incorporating national power systems into an integrated regional electricity market. The main goal is to provide a consistent and dependable energy delivery at economical cost for the ECOWAS region as part of its Regional Energy Efficiency Policy.

Further Outlook

In the upcoming years, the PIDA energy infrastructure framework plans to include transmission lines to connect the continent’s power pools and permit a large increase in inter-regional energy trade. PIDA as the continental infrastructure framework is supported by the German Government through technical advisory services of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). With PIDA projects becoming operational, it continues to promote regional economic integration via the advancement of cross-border infrastructure on the African continent.

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