Decrease in Cost of Solar by 50% can Increase Solar Penetration by 8 Times: NITI Aayog

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a senior loan of ZAR 3 billion (~$220.3 million) to the 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar power project. The project is located in the Humansrus Solar Park, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and is expected to generate 466 GWh/year.

Currently, nearly 82 percent of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal and this project will help reduce the harmful emissions.

“There is no other country – that has made bold efforts at promoting solar power – apart from South Africa and Morocco. Of the countries currently using coal, South Africa is one of the few with an aggressive strategy towards developing a solar-based power. At the heart of this transition to a low-carbon energy sector is a complete transformation of the future energy mix”, said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank in a media statement.

The project is one of the 27 renewable independent power producer projects in South Africa. It is expected to create over 3,500 jobs over its project life cycle after its commissioning. This solar power project can meet peak electricity demand in the absence of sun as it will have a 12-hour molten salt thermal energy storage system.

The project is aligned with the bank’s strategy to finance clean renewable energy projects, increase access to energy, and reduce dependence on carbon intensive power generation.

“The development of this concentrated solar power project will provide green baseload energy and contribute to a further diversification of South Africa’s energy mix, which is fundamental to South Africa’s strategic vision of transitioning to green growth”, said Amadou Hott, the AfDB Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth.

Earlier, Mercom reported that AfDB approved a $1.5-million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support the Nigerian government’s implementation of Phase 1 of the Jigawa 1-GW Independent Power Producer (IPP) Solar Procurement Program.

Last year in December, AfDB approved $324 million (~₹20.84 billion) in loan for two renewable energy projects. The projects were being developed in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer