- Regional roadmap of AfDB’s Desert to Power initiative gets validated by G5 Sahel
- It is expected to contribute to intensifying exchanges between the 5 nations while providing some perspectives to interested private and public players about the project
- The DtP plans to enable Africa’s Sahel region to achieve economies of scale in the construction of regional solar parks and sub-regional interconnections
The group of 5 countries in Africa’s Sahel region, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritiana and Niger, as G5 Sahel have validated the regional roadmap of the Desert to Power initiative, giving certainty to the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) ‘emblematic’ project Desert to Power (DtP).
Initially proposed by the bank in 2018 to help the Sahel region in Africa develop 10 GW of solar power capacity to provide clean and reliable energy to 250 million people, the DtP project is envisioned to have solar installed from the Sahara Desert in the north to Sudan in the south (see 10 GW Solar Plan For Africa’s Sahel).
The roadmap, as validated by the G5, is developed by the bank in close collaboration with the 5 nations. It identifies major projects that will allow these nations to pool their resources with a view to developing a stable and flexible electricity network ‘integrating a large solar production at the service of the sub-region’.
Plan is to achieve economies of scale in the construction of regional solar parks and sub-regional interconnections.
According to the bank, the regional roadmap—along with the national roadmaps of the member nations—will contribute to the ‘intensification of exchanges’ between the 5 Sahel countries and give ‘important perspectives to private and public actors’.
Currently, lack of electricity contributes to continuing economic and social challenges for Africans, costing the continent 2% to 4% of its GDP annually, according to the bank.
Desert to Power fact file
- It aims to make Sahel the largest solar production area in the world with 10 GW capacity
- The initiative is structured around 4 main priorities, namely solar energy and large-scale storage, the integration of the networks of the G5 Sahel countries, the pan-Sahelian off-grid programming, and the hybridization of thermal power stations.
- It is expected to benefit 11 nations, including the G5, and extending to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan.
- Deployment of solar technologies will accelerate Sahel region’s economic development and make Africa a major player in renewable energy.
Of the priority projects identified under the DtP program, one is the Yeleen Solar Project in Burkina Faso and Djermaya PV facility in Chad (see 9 MW Solar Tender Launched In Burkina Faso and €18Mn AfDB Loan For 32 MW Chad Solar Project).