AfDB approves US$379.6 million  to finance 500MW of solar in G5 Sahel region

WEST AFRICA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved US$379.6 million in financing to support the installation of 500 MW of solar power in G5 Sahel countries.

The funding aims to assist the G5 Sahel countries to adopt a low-emission power generation pathway by making use of the region’s abundant solar potential.

The facility will focus on utility-scale solar generation through independent power producers and energy storage solutions.

These investments will be backed by a technical assistance component to enhance implementation capacity, strengthen the enabling environment for private sector investments, and ensure gender and climate mainstreaming.

The facility is expected to result in 500 MW of additional solar generation capacity and facilitate electricity access to some 695,000 households.

Over the lifespan of the project, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions by over 14.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The facility will also support the integration of larger shares of variable renewables in the region’s power systems.

The Board of the Green Climate Fund approved US$150 million in concessional resources in October 2021 for the facility.

This will leverage around US$437 million in additional financing from other development finance institutions, commercial banks, and private sector developers.

The innovative blended finance approach of the Desert to Power G5 Sahel Facility will de-risk, and therefore catalyze, private sector investment in solar power generation in the region,” said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, AfDB Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

“This will lead to transformational energy generation and bridge the energy access deficit in some of Africa’s most fragile countries.”

The Global Center on Adaptation is providing technical assistance to strengthen adaptation and resilience measures undertaken in the facility as part of the Africa Adaptation Program in partnership with the ADB.

The facility will be implemented as part of the broader Desert to Power initiative, a flagship program led by the African Development Bank.

The objective is to light up and power the Sahel region by adding 10 GW of solar generation capacity and providing electricity to around 250 million people in the 11 Sahelian countries by 2030.

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