Solar Home Systems Program In Afghanistan

The PAYG solar home system initiative for Afghanistan is part of IFC’s Lighting Afghanistan program in collaboration with d.Light, Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA). Pictured is Daman district in Kandahar province of Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Ishaq Anis/Rumi Consultancy/World Bank/Flickr)
Solar Home Systems Program In Afghanistan
  • IFC has introduced a pilot project in Afghanistan under its Lighting Afghanistan initiative and introduce pay-as-you-go solar home systems
  • Light will provide small solar arrays and batteries for the project that carry quality certification from IFC's Lighting Global Program
  • Pilot project will be launched initially for homeowners in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kandahar and later it will be offered across the country
  • Through the program, the IFC says the target is to provide energy access to some 60% of the nation's population

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group has launched a pilot program to introduce pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar home systems (SHS) in Afghanistan. Through this small-scale solar power program for homeowners, the idea is to provide electricity to some of the nearly 20 million off-grid Afghans, that's nearly 60% of the total population of the country.

Afghans will be able to pay for the electricity they consume through the solar home systems, in small monthly installments. Electricity will be generated by small solar arrays and batteries. These systems will come from SHS supplier d.Light that's collaborating with the IFC's Lighting Afghanistan program, the Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) for this pilot project.

Initially, this program will be launched for homeowners in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kandahar. Post the pilot phase, the program will be offered across the country.

The Lighting Afghanistan is part of the IFC's Lighting Global program under which IFC works towards increasing access to off-grid solar energy for 1 billion off-grid people globally. Quality certification for d.Light systems comes from Lighting Global program.

"In Afghanistan, difficult terrain, the dispersed nature of rural communities, and a precarious security situation make it extremely difficult to expand the national power grid," said Marco Indelicato, IFC program manager of Lighting Afghanistan. "Solar home systems, however, can provide Afghans with a reliable, cost-effective source of electricity, which is a crucial first step in fighting poverty and creating economic opportunities."

The IFC is also helping Afghanistan design and tender 40 MW solar power project in the country to prepare a model for the nation to reach its 2 GW solar power target (see IFC Backs 40 MW PV Project In Afghanistan).

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