IFC and the Government of Niger announced a partnership under the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar program to develop up to 50 megawatts of grid-connected solar power, equivalent to roughly 20 percent of the country’s current installed capacity.
The project will help power thousands of homes, schools, businesses, and hospitals in Niger, where most lack access to electricity, and support the government’s efforts to generate 30 percent of its power through sustainable sources by 2035.
Under the agreement, IFC, together with its sister organizations, the World Bank and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), will work with the Government of Niger through the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy and the country’s electricity utility, Société Nigérienne d’Électricité (NIGELEC), to attract private sector partners to develop, tender, and finance utility-scale solar power, quickly and affordably.
“Niger aims to increase its installed power capacity to support its economic growth and improve access to electricity for its population. To achieve this goal, the use of solar energy will be critical,” said Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy.
“Increasing access to clean energy is a priority for IFC in Africa because it improves quality of life and supports economic activity, poverty reduction, and job creation. The Scaling Solar program will make it faster, cheaper, and more transparent for Niger to procure utility-scale, private solar power with reputable independent power producers,” said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa.
The Scaling Solar initiative helps governments procure and develop privately funded, grid-connected utility-scale solar projects to produce electricity at competitive tariffs. Senegal and Zambia have successfully commissioned plants under the Scaling Solar program. Other countries in the pipeline are Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Togo, and Uzbekistan.