(New telegraph online/Dayo Ayeyemi, 13 April 2018)
In a bid to improve renewable energy use in Nigeria and 10 other countries within the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has planned to spend $12bn for its development. The other countries include Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sudan and Chad.
The launch of the project is expected to take place in Senegal following its experience in solar energy production like the Tobène Power plant with 105MW and those of Bokhol and Malicounda. The objective of the scheme is to provide power for household use, Small and Medium size Enterprises, pumping water for livestock farming, irrigation and agricultural production zones.
Besides, it was meant to mitigate the effects of climate change by developing solar energy in desert parts of Africa. According to a document from the organisation, universal access to power demands huge means, adding that as a result AfDB is investing so much effort in the programme.
The bank is soliciting the support of other financial institutions to boost financing for the programme,” it read. Dubbed ‘Transform the desert into energy,’ the programme is also financed by the French Development Agency, AFD along the so-called Sahel Green Wall. According to the Programme Coordinator, Dr Assyonsar Masra Succès, it was part of the New Pact for African Sahel Energy, noting that Sahel has an estimated population of 400 million people, with 250 million without electricity. Apart from AfDB, AFD funding ‘Transform the desert into energy,’ other partners are International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, Solar Plaza, and private sector and technical concerns.
AFDB Country Director for Senegal, Laurence Hart, expressed joy at the fact that the country plans to achieve 30 per cent solar energy as part of its overall power output by 2019. The challenge, according to her, was developing storage capacity for generated solar energy and linking it the National grid.