Solar PV for Electricity Access

Chad, a landlocked country in north-central Africa, has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world. Only 8% of the population had access to electricity in 2019, with a significant gap between rural (1%) and urban (20%) areas. Apart from a 1 megawatt (MW) wind power plant in the eastern town of Amdjarass, electricity is supplied only by generators, which break down regularly. Oil, used to run clusters of generators, is expensive and highly polluting. This precarious energy situation hinders socio-economic development and affects quality of life, especially in Chad’s second largest city, Abéché. With 80,000 inhabitants, Abéché is not connected to the national grid and has struggled to develop its infrastructure due to security challenges.

In this unfavourable context, the French renewable energy firm InnoVent is developing Chad’s first solar power plant in Abéché. The pilot phase of the plant (1 MW) was built between mid-2020 and November 2021, with soldiers providing security for both personnel and equipment. In December 2021, the first electricity was delivered to the grid of the national power company, Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNE). Ultimately, the solar plant will have a total capacity of 5 MW. Plans for 2022 include installing and commissioning 2.5 MW of battery storage and building the second phase of the plant (4 MW), with the aim of having the facility fully operational by early 2023.

Source: See endnote 3 in chapter 04.

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