(Agency Ecofin) – Integrating renewable energy into the energy mix is an opportunity for Africa to obtain clean energy from abundant and affordable resources. However, this requires investment in the grid, in particular for the integration of this type of energy.
The World Bank has approved funding of $ 465 million to improve access to electricity in the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The funds were provided by the International Development Association (IDA) in the framework of the regional project on Electricity Access and Battery Energy Storage Technologies (BEST).
The project is expected to expand access to the electricity grid for more than one million people and increase the stability of the electricity system for an additional 3.5 million people. It will also increase the integration of renewables into the West African Electricity Exchange (WAPP) system. This ECOWAS institution is responsible for the integration of national electricity systems into the regional electricity market.
According to the World Bank, the BEST project will expand electrification to rural areas in Mauritania. The new infrastructure will benefit communities living close to interconnected communications. In Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Mali, the initiative will finance warehouse equipment to improve the stability of the regional power grid. Thus, the reserves of electricity in these countries can be increased and the integration of renewable energy sources can be facilitated.
According to the World Bank, the project will further stimulate private sector participation in supporting the renewable energy market. The installed energy storage capacity will also be able to accommodate 793 MW of new solar energy capacity to be built in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Niger.
Gladys Johnson Aquinocho
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