Located in West Africa and known as one of Africa’s most stable democracies, Benin is faced with numerous environmental challenges. The savannahs in the north of the country are affected by desertification, while the south is affected by coastal erosion and deforestation, and the government is looking to promote environmental protection.

Benin is significantly underdeveloped and is ranked 163rd out of 189 by the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index. One of the important hindrances to Benin’s development is the weakness and vulnerability of its infrastructure, specifically its transport and energy infrastructures. Benin’s growth is estimated at 6% (2018) but is highly dependent on access to energy, which has long been considered a prerequisite of development. In fact, Goal 7 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is “affordable and clean energy”. The country’s energy sector is currently characterised by a reliance on traditional sources of biomass energy - namely wood, charcoal and plant waste - with a full dependence on international sources for oil products.

With the environmental and developmental objectives in mind, the Government’s Action Programme 2016-2021 focuses on four main areas in the energy sector: balancing supply and demand; guaranteeing a competitive access to electricity; developing renewable energies; and adopting an energy consumption management policy. With this in mind, the Capacity Building of the Stakeholders of Benin’s Energy Sector (RECASEB, French acronym) project aims to contribute to the fight against poverty by working towards achieving the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative – universal access to modern energy services, energy efficiency and renewable energies.

In the scope of the RECASEB project, AETS has been awarded a two-year contract to accompany the government of Benin by creating a detailed atlas of relevant locations for the development of renewable energies in the country and propose technologies which are the most attractive to developers. In addition, the AETS team will develop a guide of the levelised cost of energy of the most profitable opportunities, produce a catalogue of the production sites and undertake feasibility studies for solar power plants, wind turbines, biomass and hydroelectric plants. The AETS team includes two of our own internal experts: Olivier Kergall, as key expert specialised in animal and plant biomass, and Joël Yao, as an energy engineer and non-key expert.