The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to provide a $44.76m grant to develop a 20MW on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Surobi district of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Upon completion, the project will be able to generate roughly 43,000MWh of solar energy and avoid 13,000t of carbon emissions in the first full year of operation.
It will also be able to partially meet the energy demands of Afghanistan’s northeast grid that covers Kabul, Nangarhar, and Laghman provinces.
The project will deliver power transformer and support facilities, as well as improve the capacity of the existing substation, operation, and maintenance services for three years.
ADB Afghanistan country director Samuel Tumiwa said: “The demand for power is rapidly growing across Afghanistan, and economic development and income opportunities depend on sufficient energy supplies.
“The new on-grid solarpower generation project, which is the largest of its kind in Afghanistan, will not only provide access to a clean and reliable power supply, but also demonstrate the viability of future renewable energy investments through public-private partnerships.”
While Afghanistan has been making significant progress in power generation since 2002, it still imports energy from neighbouring countries to meet its demand.
Around 32% of the country’s population is currently estimated to have access to grid-connected electricity, while demand is growing by 25% annually.