IFC takes Scaling Solar initiative to Madagascar

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IFC takes Scaling Solar initiative to Madagascar

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Government of Madagascar to design and tender a partnership for privately developed, grid-connected solar power under the Scaling Solar initiative, which is helping create a viable market for solar power in Africa, and increasing access to electricity. 

For Madagascar, the third African country to the join Scaling Solar program following Zambia and Senegal, a large and sustainable 30/40 megawatt solar facility will help ease daily interruptions of power service. The country has been struggling with cost and availability of electricity.

Solar plants will become a reliable alternative to expensive diesel generators, drawing on an abundant source of renewable energy, they will reduce generation costs for JIRAMA, the local utility, and also ensure a more stable electricity supply. 

Utility-scale photovoltaic solar power can be quickly and economically deployed to address supply demand imbalances in national grids, lower power costs, and improve the financial sustainability of power utilities. 

Scaling Solar provides a simple yet innovative package that combines several World Bank Group services under one umbrella, comprising:

  • The World Bank’s partial risk guarantees
  • MIGA’s political risk guarantees
  • IFC’s expertise in developing and financing power plants, which helps governments mobilize privately funded grid-connected solar plants

The agreement with Madagascar highlights significant market interest in the Scaling Solar initiative, which is expanding rapidly across Africa as governments realize the benefits of accessing the purchasing power of bigger and more developed economies to develop solar energy. 

Scaling Solar provides competitive and transparent tendering in countries with limited experience developing solar power, and helps countries access solar power more quickly and affordably than they could otherwise. Scaling Solar is being supported by the Governments of the Netherlands and Denmark, USAID’s Power Africa initiative, and Devco, a multi-donor facility affiliated with the Private Infrastructure Development Group. 

An August, 2015 agreement with Zambia began rapid progress toward the first large-scale solar facility in the country. Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) officially prequalified 11 bidders for their two initial 50 MW solar projects under Scaling Solar.

In Senegal, the second country to join the initiative, the planned utility-scale solar photovoltaic project underscores the government’s commitment to integrate renewable energy in the country’s power mix. 

Oumar Seydi, IFC Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said:

“A reliable supply of electricity will support growth in Madagascar's economy, and improve lives for individuals, families, and businesses. Scaling Solar is an innovative World Bank Group initiative that reflects a commitment to supporting developing while protecting the environment.” 

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