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Friday, 16 November 2012

EU supports largest solar power plant in West Africa

The European Union announced on Wednesday 14 November its support for the construction of what will be the largest African photovoltaic power plant, in Burkina Faso. It will provide 32 gigawatt hours per year, the equivalent of 6% of the country's current electricity production. This will cover the energy consumption of around 400,000 people.
EU support for the power plant amounts to €25 million; the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Agency (AFD) will also provide loans of a total of €38 million.
EU Development Commissioner Piebalgs said: "More than 1 billion people on the planet do not have access to electricity, half of them in Africa. This is one of the greatest brakes on Africa's development. To unlock this huge potential the EU pledged to connect 500 million people to energy and we put our money where our mouth is. "
Piebalgs made the announcement before departing to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) where he will attend the Conference of African Energy Ministers and All Africa Energy Week.
Located in Zagtouli, on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou, the new power plant will comprise 96,000 solar panels. Currently, only 15% of the Burkinabe population have access to electricity and the country still heavily depends on energy imports.
The EU is the biggest donor in energy worldwide. The EU has invested more than €2 billion over the last five years on energy projects in developing countries and more than €1 billion on improving the state of the energy sector in Africa.


Source: European Commission