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Commissioner Piebalgs announces EU support for building the largest solar power plant in West Africa

Andris Piebalgs

EU Development Commissioner Piebalgs announced this week that the EU will support 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. Commissioner Piebalgs arrives today to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) where he will attend the Conference of African Energy Ministers and All Africa Energy Week. 

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. The new solar power plant in Burkina Faso shows that the EU is committed to supporting a much-needed change in Africa's production of sustainable energy. For Burkina Faso, this means massively improved supply of greener electricity, increased energy independence of the country, and a more secure energy supply for the population". 

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 strong reliance on fossil fuels has a negative impact on the environment. EU support for the power plant amounts to €25 million; the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Agency (AFD) provide loans of a total of €38 million.

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Last update: 29/07/2014 |  Top