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Panel discussion: How to make hydro the feasible solution for Africa’s generation needs

Conference: Hydro Power Africa
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Presenter: Dieudonne Raoelijaona
Abstract: Presented by Dieudonne Raoelijaona at Hydro Power Africa

To improve hydro as a true need for Africa’s energy generation in the near future, this proposes to present the position regarding hydro energy in Madagascar. The contents of this presentation are as follows:

  1. An abstract on electrification in Madagascar
  2. The energy sector structure in Madagascar
  3. JIRAMA’s electricity network and generation structure
  4. Hydro potential in Madagascar
  5. Hydro projects in Madagascar

At the end, it will be gift some reasons for delayed development of hydro in Madagascar. With only 10% of inhabitants having electricity in Madagascar access to this energy form is still very low. 80% of total energy is mainly from wood.

In 2007, the electricity capacity installed in the country is estimated to 339MW of which 109 MW is hydro energy. The main capacity is in the interconnected grid of Antananarivo, the capital city.

The entities working in the Madagascar energy sector are:

  • The Ministry of Energy and Mining which is responsible for the National politics of Energy.
  • The Electricity Regulator
  • The Agency for development of Rural electrification
  • JIRAMA which is the national authority operator in generation, transportation and distribution activities. Presently, some other operators generate electricity in the country. They produce roughly 20% of the generation.

In the country, there is no national interconnected electricity network. There are 3 mayor isolated interconnected grids : Antananarivo, Toamasina and Fianarantsoa. There are also many other smaller grids.

Concerning the generation, in 2007 JIRAMA produced 1 051,5 GWh in its 115 centers of which 69% was by the 12 hydropower stations. The remaind 31% was generated by thermal powerstations. All slides presented before showed the current situation of the sector. The follows relate to the future. What is the hydro potential of the Island and how Madagascar does think to develop this for the generation needs?

With its geographical location, geological context and physical relief Madagascar has an important hydro potential of 7 800 MW. The distribution of this hydropotential is not equal. The main sites are located on the East part of the island. The level site and project evaluation is not available to prepare a bankable document. Almost all the sites are at the recognized level. There are a few sites at preliminary and feasibility levels.

Among these sites, 5 are under development, 4 in biding and more than 10 being researched by investors and operators In its generation plan, JIRAMA forecasts to increase the hydro plants. However, this hydro generation will still be below the thermal if the hydro projects mentioned earlier will not be realized and if there won’t be at least a large hydroplant with a capacity more than 200 MW studied and constructed from now. Without these hydroplants, Madagascar will have many problems in its economic development.

Finally, regarding its African peers, Madagascar is lagging behind in terms of development of hydro for the following reasons:

  • Strategic Deficiency: Disregard of medium”long term oil price development and threats/underinvestment in hydro strategy
  • Duration of the studies are too long
  • JIRAMA is not in the forefront of development activities
  • Ambiguities in The Electricity Law

However, the Ministry of Energy is actually making efforts to address for treat these deficiencies.