Wednesday, October 13, 2010

European Investment Bank, African Development Bank Finance Large-Scale Wind Farm in Africa

Lilongwe 12 October 2010

European Investment Bank and African Development Bank Finance First Large-Scale Wind Farm in Africa

The European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank have agreed to provide €45 million to design, build and operate on-shore wind farms on four islands in the Cape Verde archipelago. This will be the first large-scale wind project in Africa, and the first re¬newable-energy, public-private partnership in sub-Saharan Africa. The project will introduce modern wind-power technology in Cap Verde and enable wind power to be established there as the primary alter¬native to electricity that is produced by means of fuel-oil or diesel. More specifically, the project will provide over 28 megawatts of electric¬ity-generating capacity. It will help Cap Verde reach an ambi¬tious target of ensuring that 25 per cent of its local power needs are provided by renewable energy by 2012, and 50 per cent by 2020. It will also help reduce Cap Verde's need to import fuel that is priced in foreign currency. All wind farms are ex¬pected to be operational by the end of 2011.

Said Cristina Duarte, Cape Verde's finance minister: “Cape Verde is pleased to host the first large-scale wind farm project in Africa. The project will help Cape Verde provide 50 per cent of elec¬tricity from renewable sources by 2020. We thank the European Investment Bank and the African Develop¬ment Bank for their financial support and expertise in making this project possible”.

Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa, added: “This project establishes wind energy as a competitive alternative to traditional diesel generation in Cape Verde. Enabling small island states to use renewable energy contribute to the global fight against climate change. Close cooperation between the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank demonstrates the contribution that long-term public finance can make to developing renewable energy projects in a challenging economic climate”.

African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka noted: “Climate change seriously threatens sustainable development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. How-ever, climate change also provides new incentives and opportunities for Africa to pursue low car-bon-intensive development. Sustainable growth requires access to diverse, reliable, affordable clean and renewable energy”.

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