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ITT promotes renewable energy systems in Mali

Renewable energy use is not yet widely distributed in Mali. The project RARSUS SEMALI (Risk Assessment and Reduction Strategies for Sustainable Urban Resources Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa – Focus on Sustainable Energy Supply in Mali), coordinated by Prof. Ramchandra Bhandari from ITT, aims to promote knowledge transfer to the country in the field of renewable energy. For this purpose, the laboratory equipment “Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” has been installed at the University of Science, Techniques and Technology of Bamako (USTT-B) in Mali. The laboratory and a library of thematic books were officially handed over to USTT-B in a ceremony at the TH Köln in July in Deutz, Cologne.

With the “Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” lab, photovoltaic systems can be measured or weather influences on the wind energy can be determined. (Photo: Vittorio Sessa / TH Köln)

About 19 million inhabitants of the West African land-locked country Mali are heavily dependent on energy imports from neighboring countries. Particularly in rural areas, people have either no access to energy at all, or are exposed to limited energy access at too high of a cost, associated with transportation of petroleum products. Here, renewable energy resources could be one of the options for reliable and affordable energy supply. In order to carry out the research in this aspect, the universities from Germany and Africa teamed up under the umbrella of the RARSUS-SEMALI project. Since then they are carrying out different activities in the areas of research, capacity building and networking with the purpose of initiating exchange of knowledge and experience.

„Mali could become one of the key players in West Africa in terms of generating knowledge and solutions when it comes to sustainable recourse supply for urban, semi urban as well as rural areas,” says Prof. Bhandari. In the “Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems” laboratory the researchers and students from the USTT-B have the opportunity to do simulation and experiments with the state-of-the-art technology, for example, solar photovoltaic systems, wind energy generation or energy storage (hydrogen production with water electrolysis). Researchers from ITT installed the lab in Mali and provided training to the colleagues in Bamako on the proper use of the laboratory and experimental procedures.

The partners of the RARSUS SEMALI project are: Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) from TH Köln, Center of Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Pan African University Institute for Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES), Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey (UAM) and University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako. The project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) via the Project Management Agency DLR.

Bhunesh Kumar and Vittorio Sessa from the ITT together with researchers and students from the University of Bamako (Photo: Hamidou T. Sagara / USTT-B)

Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker (Vice President for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the TH-Köln), Dr. Anja Köhler (DLR) and Prof. Dr. Abdramane Ba (University of Science, Techniques and Techniques of Bamako USTT-B) at the laboratory handover ceremony (Photo: Michael Bause / TH Köln)

The participants of the mid-term workshop of the project RARSUS-SEMALI (Photo: Michael Bause / TH Köln)


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