$5m grant approved for Desert to Power (D2P) initiative

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DESERT to Power (D2P) initiative, which is intended to deploy solar energy production resources in the G5 Sahel countries (Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), where nearly 60 million people do not have access to electricity, is to receive a $5m grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

Approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as a technical assistance project, the grant will cater to three main components – the realisation of technical studies for the integration of variable renewable energies (mainly solar) in national grids, the feasibility studies for the hybridisation of solar energy production systems from existing isolated grids and capacity building to help Chad integrate the first solar energy production project which is Djermaya PV IPP plant, into its national grid.

Daniel Schroth, the Acting Director for Renewable Energy and energy efficiency at the AfDB said, ‘This technical assistance project will specifically address the key bottlenecks limiting the large-scale deployment of solar power generation projects and allow the preparation of bankable projects for future investments.’

Aim of the Desert to Power (D2P) initiative

The Desert to Power initiative aims to transform the Sahel region into a renewable energy giant by harnessing its potential in solar energy, so as to create the largest solar energy production area on the planet.

It aims to produce ten gigawatts of solar energy through on-grid and off-grid projects to provide electricity to about 250 million people living in eleven Sahelian countries.

These operations should make it possible to eliminate various obstacles hampering the development of the energy sector in the Sahel countries, in particular the lack of sufficient installed production capacity, high dependence on imported fossil fuels, and an inability of networks.

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