European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced that the European Union would financially support the construction of what would become the largest solar power plant in Africa, Burkina Faso.
This plant will produce 32 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, equivalent to 6% of current electricity generation in the country. It will cover the energy consumption of about 400,000 people.
“More than a billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and half of them live in Africa. This is one of the main obstacles to the development of the continent. Release to the enormous potential it holds, the European Union is committed to connect 500 million people with energy, and she joined the action to the word.’s new solar plant in Burkina Faso shows that the Union Europe is committed to supporting the development of the necessary energy development in Africa. In Burkina Faso, it will mean a huge improvement in the supply of green electricity, increasing energy independence and greater security of energy supply for the population,” said Commissioner Piebalgs.
Zagtouli located in the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, the new power plant will have 96,000 solar panels. Currently, only 15% of the Burkina population have access to electricity and the country remains heavily dependent on energy imports. The strong dependence on fossil fuels has negative effects on the environment.
The EU assistance to Central totaled 25 million euros, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Agency (AFD) have granted to them as loans for a total amount 38 million euros.
The EU remains the biggest donor in the energy sector worldwide. Studies indicate that over the past five years, it has invested more than two billion euros in projects in the field in developing countries and more than one billion euros in improving the state the energy sector in Africa, including increasing access to modern energy services.
A mechanism for technical assistance from the EU (with 65 million) in favor of developing countries is also under review by the European Commission. An additional € 400 million is expected to expand and improve innovative financial instruments of the EU, which should translate into concrete investments in the field of up to five billion euros.
Financial instruments may include, for example, support for the establishment of public-private partnerships on energy access and the creation of new business models for investment in sustainable energy in rural areas or outside network. The funds will also be used to develop systems with guaranteed financial institutions, under which a portion of the investment risks will be covered by EU-funded instruments.