A $311 million loan from the International Development Association will help increase grid-connected renewable energy capacity in West Africa.
Among the beneficiaries of this electricity fund are Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
According to the World Bank, the Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project includes a $20 million grant to facilitate future regional power trade and strengthen West Africa Power Pool’s institutional and technical capacities.
According to the World Bank, RESPITE aims to increase grid-connected renewable energy capacity and strengthen regional integration in participating countries.
It will finance the installation and operation of approximately 106 megawatts of solar photovoltaic with battery energy and storage systems, 41 megawatts of hydroelectric capacity expansion, and will support electricity distribution and transmission interventions across the four countries, the Bank said.
West Africa suffers from a combination of low power generation, high electricity costs, high fuel costs and poor electrical infrastructure because of the despondent state of power generation on the subcontinent.
These issues, combined with internal and external economic deterrents, make electrification in the region a major challenge.
Rhonda Jordan-Antoine, the World Bank Task Team Leader of the project, said the $311 million project would substantially solve the region’s electricity problems. According to her, the new project supports many different solutions and has substantial benefits for both countries and the region.
The program will also provide fiscal space for countries to address the food crisis due to the Ukraine war, initiate grid-connected clean energy competitions to alleviate the current power supply crisis, and help countries move away from expensive and polluting fuels as well as synchronize the WAPP network to improve regional energy integration.”