The project concerns a run-of-river hydropower plant of 16.5 MW located on the river Ampamehana and connected to Antananarivo regional grid. It supplies the equivalent of 400 000 people with green electricity and avoids the emissions of 35k tons of CO2 equivalent/year.This is the first privately owned hydro power plant in Malagasy history, the first to be realised in Madagascar in the last 25 years and the first carbon reduction project registered under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Clean Development Mechanism scheme in Madagascar. Parts of the certified emissions reductions generated are kept by promoters for the ethiCarbon Afrique® initiative, so that they can be used for ethical and solidarity purposes.
Madagascar is among the Least Developed Countries (LDC) of the world. It ranks 143 of 177 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI). The World Bank has estimated that 70 % of Malagasy live on less than 1 US$ per day. As a net importer of oil, the energy sector is vulnerable to external oil pricing fluctuations. According to the National Madagascar Action Plan (MAP), the current trend in the energy sector is the development of fossil fuel power plant.
Simultaneously, there has been a decrease in the proportion of hydroelectric power generation leading to a greater reliance on thermal production. The country also faces reliability and coverage of electricity challenges. National coverage rate is still only around 15 % with access in rural areas lower than 5 % while demand for electricity in Madagascar is growing at an annual average rate of approximately 7 %. Continuation of current practice would therefore involve a significant share of fossil fuel consumption, including in capacity additions to meet the demand increase.
The project supplies 90 GWh of green electricity to the national grid, the equivalent of 400 000 people demand coverage. The project displaces greenhouse gases emissions that would have been produced by fossil fuels plants, thus avoiding 35 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year and 735 000 tonnes over the overall project lifetime (21 years).
This project allows to generate yearly certified emissions reductions (CER) credits under the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM). Credits are owned by Aera Group (formerly ecosur afrique) and have been only partially sold to anticipate for the launch of ethiCarbon Afrique® (the global initiative ethiCarbon® was launched in 2012), with the aim to use them beyond simple compensation by concretely acting for ethical and solidarity purposes. These certified credits will be sold within the framework of the initiative and, in accordance with UNFCCC rules, yearly audits are conducted to determine the exact number of CER generated.Employment and environmental conservation
Hydelec employed around 150 local technicians and local workers during the installation, testing and start-up of the hydropower plant. It relies on 20 full time staff at Sahanivotry power site. Employees are all local people. It includes all levels of qualifications among which administrative and management resources, technicians in charge of maintenance and security staff to protect the site.
The project besides develops local biodiversity by planting 40,000 native species local trees at the project site. It is a run-off-river hydro power plant which means it does not involve any reservoir. Project owner is also involved at local level through community programs such as the renovation of the local health care centre, financial support to surrounding schools, installation of new fountains for water access and a monthly supply of food for the local orphanage.
This project goes beyond mitigation and fully enters within the vision of ethiCarbon Afrique®: it is fully ethical, solidarity based and participates to alleviate poverty through employment, building capacity programmes, support to local communities and improved access to clean energy. It fits national development priorities, and skills and knowledge are transferred so that the local population become the actors of their own development.
From an economic perspective, this project generates savings in the long term as well as annual certified emissions reduction. Parts of the CERs are sold through the ethiCarbon Afrique® initiative, and the funds generated will be used to fund social needs such as education, building capacities programme, awareness raising, transfer of technologies, scholarships, etc. This innovative approach, to which anyone can contribute, is a key aspect of ethiCarbon Afrique®.
Sahanivotry has a very special role for the development of the electricity sector in Madagascar. Madagascar lacks experience in implementing sustainable hydroelectric projects, so engineering skills and capacity need to be imported. Within the scope of the project, local technicians received practical training to operate and maintain the Hydro Power Plant during the lifetime of the project. Sponsoring of education and training at the Advanced Institute of Technology have been undergone.
Sahanivotry is also a mean to transfer technology to Madagascar. The equipment comes from countries which possess experience with environmentally sound technology, to ensure a sustainable project implementation.
More info and credit pictures:
Project description under CDM: https://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEV-SUED1269612670.69/view
Aera Group: http://aera-group.fr/gallery/hydelec/