Burkina Faso kicks off ‘Solar Cluster’ plan

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The national renewables body of Burkina Faso has launched a ‘Solar Cluster’ initiative to establish a domestic PV industry and promote energy efficiency.

The program introduced by ANEREE – the Agence Nationale des Energies Renouvelables et de l’Efficacite Energetique – is backed by the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which will help the renewables body access international finance.

Funds will be provided in part via the West African Development Bank, in the form of loans with favorable conditions for companies in the landlocked nation. The Solar Cluster program will adopt a mixed approach to financing, though, to offer long-term financial backing for PV projects, ANEREE said.

Networking

The capacity building program will provide “networking opportunities” for the country’s nascent solar industry, said minister of energy Bachir Ismaël Ouedraogo on Friday. The initiative is also intended to provide training opportunities.

Fossil fuel-dependent Burkina Faso wants universal access to electricity by 2025, from a current electrification rate of around 20%, according to the International Finance Corporation private sector arm of the World Bank. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates the country had installed just 62 MW of solar generation capacity by the end of 2018. However, Burkina Faso is poised to benefit from more than XOF1 trillion ($1.72 billion) in West African solar investment by 2025, Ouedraogo said at the Solar Cluster launch.

In March, the Fond des Energies Renouvelables pour la Résilience du Burkina Faso offered technical and financial assistance to companies supplying small PV systems and innovative cooking stoves in the country. The resource, managed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund and financed by the government of Luxembourg, will provide $50,000-200,000 to companies which submit successful applications.