November 27 (Renewables Now) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a USD-44.8-million (EUR 37.6m) grant for a 20-MW solar park in Kabul, Afghanistan, the capacity of which could potentially reach 40 MW.
The photovoltaic (PV) facility will be situated in the capital city’s Surobi district, generating at least 43,000 MWh of electricity annually, the lender said in a press release this weekend. The installed capacity could be later expanded to 30 MW or 40 MW provided that additional financing from other development agencies of the private sector is secured. Initially, the site will be prepared to accommodate some 10 MW more of PV capacity “for future financing,” ADB said.
The project is expected to help Afghanistan meet rising demand for power and will be the largest of its kind in the landlocked country. Although it has a renewable energy potential of over 300,000 MW, mainly solar, renewable power plants there are not widespread.
The Asian nation is highly dependent on foreign energy imports and only about 32% of its population has access to grid-connected power, ADB said, adding that it will back Afghanistan’s efforts in the coming years to lift its electrification rate to 83% from 30% currently and also increase the share of domestic power generation from 20% to 67% by 2030.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.838)