EU funds largest African solar power plant

Solar panels. The European Union will be investing $31.7 million in the construction of Africa’s largest photovoltaic power plant in Burkina Faso. Photo by: Bert van Dijk / CC BY-NC-SA

The European Union is following through on its pledge to provide sustainable energy to 500 million people by 2030: It will be investing €25 million ($31.7 million) in the construction of Africa’s largest photovoltaic power plant in Burkina Faso.

The new power plant will be built in Zagtouli, a city near the capital Ouagadougou, and will house 96,000 solar panels. It is expected to generate 32 gigawatt-hours per year, or 6 percent of the country’s current electricity production, and cover energy usage of about 400,000 people there.

“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,” European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said in a press release.

In addition to the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency will be providing €38 million in loans to help construct the power plant.

The European Commission launched its energy initiative in April 2012, when President José Manuel Barroso made the pledge to expand sustainable energy access to half a million people in developing countries over the next 18 years. Among the proposals is the creation of a €50 million technical facility that will help support sustainable energy projects in developing countries.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.