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Burkina Faso: $80 Million to Diversify Electricity Supply

June 8, 2017

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2017—Today, the World Bank approved a $80 million credit to Burkina Faso for the Electricity Sector Support Project (PASEL). This additional financing will be used to incorporate low-cost solar resources into Burkina Faso’s energy mix and improve its distribution network.

It will also help electricity sector operators build their capacity and provide transactional advice to promote the development of private sector projects for independent power producers.

“With this additional financing, Burkina Faso will be able to access diversified energy sources such as solar, at a low cost,” said Cheick Kanté, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso. “The World Bank stands ready to help the Government, which aims to cover 100 percent of electricity needs in urban areas and 40 percent in rural areas, by providing reliable and affordable electricity by 2025.”

“To attain this ambitious objective, the main challenges are to step up production capacities in order to reduce electricity shortages and meet the growing demand for energy services, while ensuring the safety and reliability of the supply of electricity,” said Alexis Madelain, World Bank task team leader. “It will also be necessary to ensure energy transition to less costly production sources, namely renewable energy and imports. Finally, the electric company should work toward balancing its finances in order to make the sector less dependent on budget transfers.”  

The Burkinabe Government’s strategy is to reduce dependence on costly, imported fossil fuels and gradually shift the country’s production mix to renewable energy and electricity imports at an affordable cost. This approach would also reduce the overall cost of electricity, which remains high in Burkina Faso, as well as minimize the country’s exposure to the risks of oil price and exchange rate volatility. This strategy requires boosting energy production in order to overcome the capacity deficit and respond to strong demand growth. It also entails improving the national distribution network to facilitate the absorption of intermittent solar energy.

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