Due to Burkina Faso’s dependence on fossil fuels, the country has one of the highest electricity tariff rates in West Africa. Moreover, only 3 percent of its rural areas are electrified. In 2017, the Government of Burkina Faso revised the country’s energy policy and regulatory framework to address these issues and allow private sector participation in rural electrification investments.
Supported by GCF, the Yeleen Rural Electrification Project is one such investment that welcomes private sector participation. Aptly named Yeleen – it means light in the local language – the project will provide clean energy to 100 villages through the installation of green mini-grids in the rural areas of Burkina Faso. In addition to providing electricity through solar-powered mini-grids, the project also anticipates an average annual emissions reduction of 15,500 tonnes CO2 equivalent which corresponds to 390,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent by the end of the project’s lifespan of 25 years.
A EUR 53.1 million investment, GCF’s funding of EUR 24.3 million for the Yeleen Project will provide results-based capital grants to selected bidders for each successful electricity connection, support the construction of renewable energy infrastructure and back local financial institutions that will provide loans for productive use. A major barrier to private sector investment in rural electrification is finding the right balance between cost reflective tariffs and perceived abilities to pay. GCF’s contribution seeks to open untapped rural energy markets in Sub-Saharan Africa by mobilizing funds from 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,” says Pierre Telep, senior renewable energy specialist at GCF. “It represents a useful framework to encourage private sector-led rural electrification projects to increase electricity access and accelerate green energy investments.”
GCF contributes to global energy transformation by helping developing countries reduce their carbon footprint in power generation and makes sure access to energy means access to clean energy. By funding green mini-grids, GCF strengthens its impact on bridging the global energy gap.