On the eve of the African Union- European Union Summit held in in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) on 29 and 30 November 2017 , Burkina Faso launched the biggest photovoltaic plant in West Africa.

 

The new photovoltaic plant will provide access to affordable and clean energy for 660 000 people in Burkina Faso and it will help to meet rising energy demands while reducing carbon emissions and lowering the costs of energy production. Burkina Faso is one of the least electrified countries globally, since only 19% of its population is connected to electricity.[1] In rural areas, access to electricity was only 3% in 2014.[2]

 

The project is funded by €25 million grant from the European Union, accompanied by a €22.5 million loan from the French Agency for Development

European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: 

"Our pioneering project, with a contribution of €25 million from the EU, will provide 6 % of Burkina Faso's energy production. Africa is continent rich in renewable energy resources, and the Zagtouli solar plant is a great example of the EU's commitment to help our partner countries make the transition to clean and green energy for all."

 

The new photovoltaic solar plant in Zagtouli, Burkina Faso is comprised of 130 000 individual solar panels, covers area of 60 hectares and will save over 25 000 tons of CO2 every year. It will make a significant contribution to the Burkina Faso’s energy objectives. By 2025, Burkia Faso aims to cover 100 percent of electricity needs in urban areas and 40 percent in rural areas, by providing reliable and affordable electricity.[3]

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[1] Global Tracking Framework, World Bank. Available here

[2] SEforAll. Burkina Faso. Available here

[3] Burkina Faso: $80 Million to Diversify Electricity Supply. World Bank. Available here