Israel supports Angola’s solar ambition with $60m fund

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The Israeli government will help oil-dependent Angola diversify its energy mix through solar and other renewables.

State-run press agency ANGOP has revealed Israel has devoted around $60 million for solar energy and agricultural projects to be developed in the country, by unspecified Israeli companies. The Israeli ambassador in Angola, Oren Rosenblat, said the funds will be used for a 50 MW solar facility in the province of Benguela, in western Angola, a region with a poor energy infrastructure.

“The solar plant will be constructed by Israeli companies as part of a project that Angola has developed over the last five years for the sustainable growth of African countries, especially in remote locations and populations that do not have energy from the national network,” said Mr. Rosenblat. He added, part of the funds will be used to promote agricultural activities in the province.

It is likely the project the Israeli ambassador was referring to is the Scaling Solar program, which is aimed at unlocking private investment in emerging solar markets in Africa and is a scheme Angola is planning to join.

Plans for solar and renewables in Angola were announced by Belgium’s QWAY energy in late October. In a statement to pv magazine, the company said it expects to deploy 250-350 MW of PV, and that once the development phase is complete, construction is set to begin by the end of 2020.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Angola – together with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and Libya – has cost-effective sites that should receive high prioritization, but which are not in the top 20%, primarily due to limited transmission access.