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Mauritania explores its renewable energy potential

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The production of renewable energy is increasing in Mauritania.

According to the UN Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA), the location of the country make it ideally suited for solar and wind power.

The agency estimates that the energy potential amounts to 4,000 Gigawatt-hours.

The capital, Nouakchott, is served by four power plants, including a 30-megawatt wind power plant, as well as a solar farm.

"The estimated total annual energy is approximately 115 Gigawatt-Hour. It depends on the month. The most favourable months are April to May when we can produce up to 13 Gigawatt-Hours. And sometimes there are less favourable months (when we produce) at approximately 5-6 Gigawatt-Hours," says Nourou Dia, controller at Nouakchott Wind Power Plant.

This wind power plant and the solar farm produce 10-15 percent of the capital's electricity.

"Through the development of Mauritania's significant potential in renewable energy, whether solar or wind. In 2018, we were at 38% of renewable energy in the energy mix and we intend to increase (this share) to 50% by 2030," says Marieme Bekaye, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development.

In 2018, Mauritania emitted less than one tonne of CO2 per inhabitant, more than 15 times less than the US and five times less than the UK.

Mauritania is already preparing for next year's negotiations that are scheduled to take place on the continent.

"So the COP27, which should be held at the end of next year in Egypt, we consider that it will be the COP of Africa. The African continent with the group of negotiators must play a really important role in this and so there will be a whole series of preparatory meetings in advance. COP27 will work on Glasgow's shortcomings at COP26." promised  Bekaye.

Mauritania is home to less than 5 million inhabitants. 

According to Somelec, the country's electricity company, just 54 percent of the population is connected to the power grid.

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