Article / 30 May, 2018
Major Funds Support Clean Solar Energy in the Sahel

UN Climate News, 31 May 2018 - To transform African deserts into new sources of renewable energy, the African Development Bank, Africa 50 and the Green Climate Fund have agreed to work together on the Desert to Power Programme

Solar power from the Desert to Power Programme can alleviate rural poverty, youth unemployment whilst boosting the sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

“Sahel countries have identified the potential of solar power to bring green energy to people across the region. Renewable energy investment is a priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement,” said Howard Bamsey, GCF executive director.

The objective of the Desert to Power Programme, initiated by African Development Bank Group (AfDB), is to develop 10,000 MW of solar energy across 11 countries in the Sahel region.

The plan is to provide solar generated electricity to 250 million people, including 90 million through off grid solutions, whilst promoting the development of agriculture and other economic activities.

This initiative comes at a critical time for a country like Sudan which plans to reach universal power access by increasing electric accessibility by 13% each year until 2025. It is almost impossible to engage in productive business or agriculture without adequate power and light.

AKinwumi A. Adesina, President of AfDB said the Desert to Power Programme will transform countries in the Sahel region by accelerating their access to energy through solar power. To realize this ambition, strong collaboration is needed. The partnerships with the Green Climate Fund and Africa50 are great milestones which will enhance delivery at scale.

Adesina welcomed GCF’s support to the initiative, which he said has the potential - with investment from the private sector - to become the world’s largest solar powered area.

Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, said, “Africa50 is about leveraging partnerships to contribute to the continent’s growth through developing and funding high impact private and PPP infrastructure projects. This agreement allows us to leverage our project development capabilities and build a bigger pipeline of bankable projects that will provide millions of people and businesses on the continent with clean and affordable energy.”

Africa 50 focuses on high impact regional energy and transport projects to increase the pipeline of investment-ready projects.

Click here for the relevant GCF press release.

See here for more information on meeting on the Desert to Power Programme meeting that took place in April this year.