The Mozambican Energy Fund (Funae) and the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) are now accepting applications from minigrid developers to conduct technical and financial feasibility studies on five potential installations. They have until March 30 to submit their applications.
The technical and financial feasibility studies will be conducted at five sites, including three in Zambezi province and two in Nampula province, Funae said. The projects will be designed to improve rural electricity access, as just 5% of people living in rural parts of the country currently have regular access to power, according to research by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
The five solar solar minigrid projects will be built under the second phase of the Renewable Energy for Rural Development (RERD2) program, which was launched by the government of Mozambique in 2018. RERD2 is designed to expand the provision of renewables-generated electricity throughout rural parts of the country up to 2023. The Belgian government is helping the Mozambican authorities to finance the projects.
Mozambique has not installed much solar thus far, with installations standing at just 17 MW by the end of 2018, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). However, a number of sizable projects are currently in development. In October, for example, the French Development Agency agreed to help the local authorities to build 80 MW of solar capacity across two sites in in Nampula and Niassa provinces.