BURKINA FASO: Green Climate Fund finances rural electrification

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BURKINA FASO: Green Climate Fund finances rural electrification©Sebastian Noethlichs/Shutterstock

The Green Climate Fund (GCCF) has released €24.3 million to finance the Yeleen project. This concerns the deployment of mini solar networks in 100 villages in Burkina Faso.

The Burkinabe rural electrification plan can finally be implemented, as half of the necessary funds are available. The amount of money just released by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the project called Yeleen (light in local language) amounts to €24.3 million. The project will combine photovoltaic solar energy production with optimised battery storage using smart mini grid functions to better match available solar energy to demand and limit night use. This will allow people to have full access to renewable energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

The Yeleen plan has three components. However, the current GCF funding concerns the rural electrification component based on solar energy production, especially mini-grids and individual kits (productive use equipment). The component will be developed under the supervision of the Rural Electrification Agency of Burkina Faso (Aber). “The Yeleen project has strong potential for scaleability and replication in Burkina Faso and many sub-Saharan African countries. It provides a useful framework to encourage private sector-led rural electrification projects to increase access to electricity and accelerate investment in green energy. ”, said Pierre Telep, renewable energy specialist at the GCF.

The Yeleen off-grid project will lead to the installation of 100 mini-grids over a two-year period, powered by an estimated 11.4 megawatts (MW) of global solar photovoltaic capacity, to connect 50,000 households in 100 rural electrified communities, including 500 productive connections. The objective is to establish a functional legal and regulatory system and competent institutions empowered to develop this rural electrification model in the other provinces of Burkina Faso.

Yeleen, a project also supported by the AfDB, to the tune of USD 18 million

In July 2018, the African Development Bank (AfDB) had already announced €18 million in funding for Burkina Faso’s rural electrification plan.

The government also intends to improve the living conditions of rural populations through the implementation of this project. It will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Energy Programme by 2020: to increase the energy access rate to 45% and to increase the share of renewable energies in the energy mix to 50%. It will also generate approximately 181 direct jobs for the installation, operation and maintenance of equipment.

Boris Ngounou

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