The African Development Bank has approved a 6 million U.S. dollars grant to launch the initial phase of the Desert to Power West Africa Regional Energy Program.
The program will contribute to the overall target of 10,000 MW of new solar generation capacity, providing electricity access to 250 million people by 2030, said a statement from the bank on Friday.
Desert to Power, an initiative led by the bank, is expected to transform the Sahel region by harnessing its abundant solar potential to benefit the G-5 Sahel countries, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
The grant funding will go to the West African Power Pool to conduct pre-feasibility studies for the construction of the Sahel Transmission Backbone that will link regional solar parks in all five countries.
The Economic Community for West African States Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency also receives financing to expand decentralized energy systems as part of an ECOWAS Regional Mini-Grid Program.
The financing will also help de-risk energy investments by preparing transmission infrastructure to link countries in the Sahel region and harness a larger share of electricity from solar power.
It is expected to pave the way for power trading on a regional electricity market. Enditem