• The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with the Government of Burkina Faso to
    develop a roadmap for energy storage investment from the private sector in
    the African country
  • Private investment in energy storage can expand the country’s solar power
    generation, the IFC said
  • It will also ensure drop in electricity costs, grid stability and will ease dispatch
  • The assessment will be jointly supervised by the IFC, the energy ministry of
    Burkina Faso and Sonabel

The Ministry of Energy, Burkina Faso has secured an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to explore how solar energy generation can accelerate in the country with the help of private investment in energy storage, while at the same time ensuring grid stability and easing dispatch issues.

“This assessment is an important step to help successfully integrate a larger amount of solar power into the country’s energy mix, as planned by the government,” said Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire, IFC’s country manager for Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, Niger and Togo.

With only 20% electrification rate, Burkina Faso currently has high reliance on polluting thermal power and imported energy. Diversification of energy sources and enhancement of renewable energy capacity especially solar are important for the African nation that strives to achieve its universal access to electricity goal by 2025 and bring down electricity costs and reduce its exposure to oil price fluctuations.

The IFC said it will help the country prepare a storage investment roadmap based on public private partnership (PPP) models by assessing the economic benefits of storage with a view to integrating solar capacity to the grid and decrease overall generation costs.

Part of the evaluation, to be jointly supervised by the IFC, the Ministry of Energy and national utility Société Nationale d’Electricité du Burkina (SONABEL), will also entail reviewing the country’s legal and regulatory frameworks while comparing private and public storage project development and financing models and recommending various aspects of PPP in the industry based on international practices being followed.

Recently, Urbasolar began construction of a 30 MW solar power project in Burkina Faso under PPP model for Sonabel. The power will be procured by the utility for CFA 48 per kWh, way down from CFA 130 per kWh it pays for thermal power (see Construction Begins On 30 MW PV Project In Burkina Faso).