……….This phase will reduce emissions by 14.4m tons of CO2

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has allocated $379.6million to the Desert to Power Financing Facility. Through the facility, the Bank will commit the fund to financing and technical assistance over the next seven years.

The Desert to Power G5 Financing Facility is meant to help five African Sahel countries, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger adopt a low-emissions power generation pathway by using the region’s abundant solar potential.

This funding includes provision for technical assistance to improve implementation capacity, create an enabling environment for private sector investment, and ensure gender and climate mainstreaming.

The Bank launched the Desert to Power program to develop a 10,000mw installed capacity to power 250 million people in the Sahel.

The G5 Sahel countries focus on the financing facility launched as part of this initiative, which will produce 500mw of solar energy and provide electricity storage for 695,000 households.

The pan-African bank set up the financing facility to help the G5 Sahel countries transition to low-carbon electricity generation by leveraging the region’s great solar potential.

A report say the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has already contributed $150 million to the facility.

The AfDB estimates that the funds received under the facility will mobilize an additional $437 million.

The remaining funds will come from commercial banks and other private investors, including large-scale independent power producers (IPPs).

This phase of the program, according to the AfDB, will reduce emissions by over 14.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent for its lifetime.

AfDB vice president for power, energy, climate change and green growth, Dr. Kevin Kariuki, said the innovative blended finance approach of the Desert to Power G5 Sahel Facility will de-risk, and therefore catalyse, private sector investment in solar power generation in the region.

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

He explained that the facility will encourage utility-scale solar generation through independent power producers and energy storage solutions.

He also said that the investment will be backed by a technical assistance component meant to enhance implementation capacity, strengthen the enabling environment for private sector investment and ensure gender and climate mainstreaming.

The aim is for the facility to help create 500MW of additional solar generation capacity which should facilitate electricity access to around 695,000 households.

It is expected that about 14,4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent could be avoided over the lifespan of the project.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

[email protected]

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