Ghana Secures $70m from AfDB for Off-Grid Solar Electrification

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African Development Bank (AfDB) has extended a $69.88million financing loan to the government of Ghana for the implementation of a rural electrification project via stand-alone solar systems.

The agreement was signed between the president of AfDB, Akinwunmi Adesina and Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the pan-African bank which ended last weekend in Accra, Ghana.

A report by Afrik21.Africa said the money is granted within the framework of the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) which aims at accelerating access to electricity.

“Ghana is among the most advanced countries in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of electrification, with a rate of 84% according to Power Africa. But Accra wants to accelerate the trend in rural areas by focusing on stand-alone solar systems,” the report said.

The objective of the SREP-Ghana Investment Plan is to catalyze the large-scale development of renewable energy to transform the country’s energy sector from one that is increasingly dependent on fossil fuels to one that is more balanced and diversified, with a greater share of renewable energy sources.

The Ghanaian government, the report went further, is expected to implement the SREP through two major components. The first is the installation of 38 solar-powered mini-grids to provide electricity to public service structures, including 2,000 SMEs (small and medium enterprises), 1,350 schools, 500 health centres and 400 rural communities.

In the second part, the programme will ensure the installation of 12,000 rooftop solar systems for businesses and households. The idea is to reduce debts and electricity bills.

“This project will increase access to clean and reliable electricity services and support Ghana’s low carbon socio-economic development. It will directly support Ghana’s efforts to build resilience to the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report quoted the AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina.

The SREP programme will be implemented between 2022 and 2025. The Ghanaian government hopes to achieve universal access to electricity by focusing on clean energy.

Currently, Ghana produces mainly hydro, solar and biomass energy to supplement the production of its numerous thermal power plants.

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