The World Bank has approved a budget of $311 million for the new Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPITE)

The Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPITE) is a project that is aimed at increasing the grid-connected renewable energy capacity of participating West African countries like Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

This financing from the World Bank will support reforms in power distribution and transmission throughout Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo. It will also fund the installation and operation of about 106 megawatts worth of solar photovoltaic battery and storage systems and 41 megawatts worth of hydroelectric capacity growth.

This project also includes a $20 million grant to help facilitate regional power trade in the future and strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the West Africa Power Pool(WAPP) to undertake its provincial mandate.

West Africa is known to have one of the lowest electrification rates as well as some of the highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the rising oil prices have increased the liabilities of electrical utilities, and many countries are looking at an acute power supply crisis that threatens to overturn their economic growth.

The solutions provided by RESPITE include substantial benefits for the countries involved as well as for the entire region. It will provide fiscal space for governments to address the food crisis in the region resulting from the Russian-Ukraine war, initiate the development of competitively tendered grid-connected clean energy to alleviate the current power supply crisis, positively address climate change by helping countries to move away from expensive and polluting fuels, and help synchronize the WAPP network to enhance regional integration in the energy sector.

This new project is part of the World Bank Group’s response to the energy crisis in West Africa to accelerate the deployment of more renewable energy in the region. The project will encourage leading international private developers to enter smaller and more fragile economies and also demonstrate the viability of competitively tendered grid-connected solar and battery storage in participating countries.

Segilade Adebanwo
Segilade Adebanwo
Segilade Adebanwo is an intern writer with She believes that people should always strive to do better than they did the day before. She's an avid reader who loves to play board games and research about everything on the internet.

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