Four out of nine projects approved for funding at a recent meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will support the expansion of solar in Africa, including utility-scale PV in Nigeria and embedded generation in South Africa.
The Nigeria Solar Intervention Program is one of a raft of schemes backed through the US$440 million latest GCF funding round, green-lighted by its board representatives last week as they met in Songdo (Korea).
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The GCF, the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) will each loan US$100 million to the US$467 million scheme, set to build 400MW of utility-scale solar in the Gulf of Guinea state. The initiative will support 14 IPP projects that have previously signed PPAs with Nigeria’s federal government.
Meanwhile, GCF loans of US$58 million and US$42 million will back the addition of 330MW in new small-scale renewables – 280MW of it solar PV – in South Africa. Set to require a total US$537 million in investment, the scheme will target locally connected projects, typically outside the scope of South Africa’s REIPPP state support programme.
Also reaping GCF financing at Songdo was a rural electrification scheme across 70 villages in Mali, with a US$27.8 million loan and a US$1.9 million grant meant to support the construction of isolated PV projects with a capacity of 30, 50, 80 and 150kWp.
Lastly, GCF representatives also rubberstamped close to US$70 million in loan and grant money for a scheme that is looking to unlock private investments in PV across Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Togo; the West African Development Bank will co-finance the West African initiative, providing funds also in the US$70 million region.
The GCF round opens yet another financing source for African PV to tap into. At least two other schemes – ECREEE’s solar corridor, an ADB-supported Sahel programme – are currently working to build capacity across a continent faced with high power tariffs.