By: Adhithi Sreenivasan

Source:Pencils for Kids, Libore, Niger

With the progression of climate change and a greater awareness of the harm that non-renewable energy can cause to the environment, there has been a greater push around the world to utilize more sustainable sources of energy. Niger in particular is taking more direct initiatives to adopt environmentally-friendly sources.

Recently, Niger’s Ministry of Energy has agreed on a collaboration with the International Finance Corporation via the World Bank Group as well as Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). As a new nation under the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar program, Niger will participate in a project to capture up to 50 megawatts of solar power that will be grid-connected. The Scaling Solar program claims the solar power will amount to approximately “20 percent of the country’s current installed capacity.”

The implications of this transition are great. Solar power is sustainable, which aligns with Niger’s goal to increase the country’s renewable power sources by 30% by 2035. Participating in the Scaling Solar Program also will significantly boost available electricity so more Nigerien citizens will be able to access it and reap the benefits in their homes, schools, and businesses.

Furthermore, this partnership is just one part of a larger plan involving several West African nations in the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) to improve access to energy and power in the region. Besides Niger, some of the countries participating in this effort include Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mali. Increased access to electricity is expected to spur economic growth, ultimately leading to a stronger Niger.