The African Development Bank (ADB), through its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), approved a grant of $830,000 to support the Guinean Agency for Rural Electrification (AGER), in the establishment green mini-grid projects in the Republic of Guinea.
This grant will specifically finance technical, economic, financial and environmental and social pre-feasibility studies of green mini-grid projects. These are the projects identified in the Low Cost Electrification Plan drawn up by the Government of the Republic of Guinea in coordination with the World Bank and the French Development Agency.
It will provide support to AGER for the evaluation of offers from the private sector and the conduct of negotiations for contracts for the construction, operation and maintenance of mini-networks resulting from the call for tenders which will be launched by the World Bank.
Finally, this technical assistance will help to mobilize the additional funding necessary for these mini-networks and will contribute to the development of the related regulations. These services, combined with advice and knowledge transfer, will be necessary for the AGER to better coordinate and develop the sectoral approach to mini-networks in the country.
Sixty-four percent of the Guinean population (8.1 million) live in rural areas where only 7% have access to electricity, compared to 34% at the national level. The probability of electric coverage in rural areas by the national network in the medium and long term, therefore, remains very low. Green mini-grids are thus an economical means of significantly and quickly improving access to electricity in rural areas.
The World Bank and French Development Agency have allocated funding of about $7 million, and support from SEFA will help to better structure the program. This financial support follows the results of the Electrification Plan and Guinea’s low-cost investment prospectus, as part of the National Economic and Social Development Plan 2016-2020.
“While improving the overall sectoral approach to green mini-grids in Guinea and promoting the participation of the private sector in mini-grids, it is expected that the deployment of the 57 mini-grids will give access to electricity to around 30,000 households. According to the expected results, the mini-networks should create around 100 jobs (50% of which for women) and generate productive use possibilities for at least 100 micro-small enterprises,” said Wale Shonibare, acting vice president of the Bank responsible for the Electricity, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex.
The Country Manager of the Bank in Guinea Léandre Bassolé, for his part, recalled that the Bank is a key player in the energy sector in the Republic of Guinea.
“The Bank’s interventions since 2007 have made it possible to connect or improve the connection to the electricity network of nearly 500,000 people, half of whom are women, to create more than 300 new or improved electricity distribution lines and to reduce CO2 emissions of 3,274 tonnes per year,” Bassolé said.
“This technical assistance will allow the Guinean Rural Electrification Agency to play its full role throughout the territory, while promoting the deployment of renewable energies,” he said.