Summary

Total savings :50,000 Tons CO₂ per year
Technology transfer :"Solar mini-grids": Photovoltaic modules feed into newly constructed distribution grids and thus supply rural villages. Lithium-ion batteries also provide power at night.
Local environment :Less CO₂ and fine particles emissions
Further advantages :Over 100,000 people from fifty villages finally have reliable access to clean and cheap electricity, Reduction of dependence on oil imports, Promotion of the solar industry in the region
Project partners :Anka Madagascar S.A.; autarsys Madagascar

Madagascar is the largest island state in Africa and the fourth largest island in the world. With the equivalent of 440 US dollars a year1, the annual gross national income per capita is far below the average of the other African states south of the Sahara. Only about 15% of the Madagascan have an electricity connection, in the rural areas less than one out of ten persons2. Cooking with firewood and coal as well as the common practice of slash-and-burn clearances unfortunately contribute to the rapid deforestation of the island: between the years 1950 and 2000, 40% of the forest area has already disappeared, accompanied by a reduction of the “core forest” by almost 80%3 (more than one kilometer from a non-forest edge).

Since 2019, atmosfair has been financing several renewable energy projects in Madagascar and wants to show further investors that a sustainable energy turnaround is possible on the island.

Only about 7% of people in Madagascar's rural areas have access to electricity

Many Madagascans have to walk for miles to recharge their mobile phones. Moreover, electricity also means more production and better food and health care. An expansion of the energy supply is therefore urgently needed, but the national budget is burdened by high subsidies for the country’s largest electricity supplier. A costly expansion of the national electricity grid is a long way off and not the most cost-effective way either. Madagascar is one of the sunniest countries in the world with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, so decentralised solar power supply to rural areas is not only easier but also cheaper.

atmosfair finances the construction and operation of decentralised solar power grids ("solar mini-grids") in the southwest of the island

atmosfair played a key role in planning and financing the construction of 22 solar mini-grids by providing a low-interest loan to the companies Anka Madagascar and autarsys Madagascar. Three of them are already in operation. The systems each consist of a solar plant, a lithium-ion battery and a new electricity distribution network. The size of the PV system varies between 45 kWp and 1 MWp, depending on how many households and villages are to be supplied by the system. A total of 50 villages (including larger ones) will be supplied with clean and cheap electricity. Since the operation of the first mini-grids, it has become apparent that the villages are experiencing an economic upswing, as the high diesel costs incurred to operate generators can finally be saved. The electrification of the villages is also electrifying health centres that previously operated without electricity or with emergency generators. Some of the health centres are outside the electrification plan of our or other local project developers. We therefore electrify these often very small but extremely important health centres separately through donations.Here, care is taken to ensure that the attached accommodation of the medical staff is also electrified. The needs of the centres were analysed by Doctors for Madagascar, who have been looking after the centres for many years. The company Anka Madagascar was contracted for the construction and maintenance of the five systems installed so far. Many health centres are still waiting for electrification, which is why we are very happy about direct donations to the project.

atmosfair actively accompanies the project developers on site and plans to grant the project partner Anka Madagascar another low-interest loan to electrify seven more villages with solar mini-grids.

Short Video about the benefits of Solar Mini-Grids in Madagascar (in French)

Your contact at atmosfair

Nele Erdmann
Senior Project Developer
Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Energy and Environmental Management
+49 (0)30 120 84 80 - 63