The African Development Bank (AfDB) group has approved a $ 6 million grant to launch the initial phase of the Desert to Power regional energy program in West Africa.
Desert to Power is a Bank-led initiative to transform the Sahel by harnessing the region’s abundant solar potential. The Sahel is the transitional ecoclimatic and biogeographic domain in Africa between the Sahara in the north and the Sudanese savannah in the south.
This was disclosed by the bank via a statement released and seen by Nairametrics.
Funding for the grant, which came from the 15th Regional Operations Envelope of the African Development Fund (ADF-15), will go to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to conduct pre-feasibility studies for the construction of the transmission backbone of the Sahel which will link regional solar parks in the five countries.
The Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will also receive funding to expand decentralized energy systems as part of a regional program of ECOWAS mini-grids. The approval of the Board of Directors was made on July 1, 2021.
What they say
AfDB said, âThe funding will also help reduce the risks of energy investments by preparing transmission infrastructure to link countries in the Sahel region and harness more electricity from solar power. This should pave the way for electricity trading in a regional electricity market. The G-5 Sahel countries are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
âThe Sahel backbone is synonymous with the will of the West African Power Pool to strengthen the interconnectivity between the national power systems of ECOWAS, to increase the coverage area beyond the geographical area of ââECOWAS and to increase the component of renewable energies in the energy mix. “
said West African Power Pool Secretary General Siengui Apollinaire Ki. âThe approval of financing by the African Development Bank represents a concrete step towards harnessing the solar potential of the Sahel region. “
Mr. Bah FM Saho, Acting Executive Director of ECREEE, said: “Funding from the Desert to Power initiative will allow CREEE to intensify its efforts on clean energy mini-grids and improve the availability of qualified personnel locally through the certification of technicians.”
What you should know
- The regional program for West Africa will contribute to the global target of 10,000 MW of new solar generation capacity, providing access to electricity to 250 million people by 2030.
- As the Desert to Power regional roadmap takes shape, the initiative comes at the right time for concerted and large-scale deployments of solar energy in the G5 Sahel region, and is expected to help accelerate the energy transition. .