Husk Power Systems Receives $20 Million Investment to Expand Mini-Grid Projects in Asia and Africa

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has pledged to provide €24.3 million (~$27.54 million) to the Yeleen Rural Electrification Project in the West African country of Burkina Faso.

The project will provide clean energy to 100 villages through the installation of solar mini-grids in rural areas. The assistance will be provided as capital grants to selected bidders for each successful electricity connection. This project will also support the construction of a renewable energy infrastructure and help local financial institutions.

It should be noted that only three percent of the rural areas in Burkina Faso have been electrified thus far. The country also has one of the highest electricity tariff rates in West Africa, given its dependence on fossil fuels.

GCF’s contribution is expected to open the untapped rural energy markets in sub-Saharan Africa by mobilizing funds from other agencies such as the African Development Bank, the European Union, and private developers.

“The Yeleen Project has a strong potential for scalability and replicability within Burkina Faso and across many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It represents a useful framework to encourage private sector-led rural electrification projects to increase electricity access and accelerate green energy investments,” Pierre Telep, senior renewable energy specialist at GCF said in a media statement.

The project will reduce the selected villages’ average annual emissions of 15,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which will total 390,000 tonnes through the project’s lifespan of 25 years.

The GFC has helped many other developing countries in reducing their carbon footprint when generating power and improve energy access in remote regions.

The GCF has also come forward to help India in its quest to expand its use of renewable energy. Recently, the GFC signed an agreement with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to infuse $100 million into a project designed to unlock private sector initiatives for the creation of rooftop solar power capacity.

In October 2018, GCF approved more than $1 billion in funding for new projects and programs to help mitigate climate change in developing countries. Under this, the GCF would provide a total investment of $1.04 billion for as many as 19 new projects. It will also include co-financing projects totaling over $4.24 billion driving low-emission and climate-resilient development. This increases the GFC’s portfolio to 93 projects amounting to over $4.61 billion of GCF resources.

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