Ivory Coast promotes renewable energies with new photovoltaic projects

The Ivory Coast is set to begin construction of the $63.5 million Ferke Solar power plant in Sokoro, which will have an installed capacity of 52 MW. Announced by government spokesperson Amadou Coulibaly in April, the project will commence in the second quarter of 2024 and is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2025.

Named Ferke Solar, the project stems from an agreement signed in January 2024 with renewable energy company PFO Africa and is supported by Germany and the European Union.

Coulibaly outlined that the initiative aligns with a broader policy aimed at integrating renewable energy into the national power sector. This endeavor seeks not only to achieve nationwide electrification, currently at 94%, but also to expedite the energy transition to meet climate goals set in 2021. These objectives entail achieving a 45% renewable energy mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 31.4% by 2030. 

Meanwhile, the Ivory Coast inaugurated the 37.5 MW Boundiali power plant, which is the first photovoltaic solar plant in the country and the largest in West Africa.

“In five years, the share of solar energy will be 9%,” stated Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Robert Beugré Mambé during the power plant inauguration on April 24. Its capacity is set to expand to 80 MW by 2025, with financing for the expansion already approved by the government.

The Ivory Coast currently has installed power capacity of 2,907 MW, with seven operational hydroelectric dams serving as its primary renewable energy source alongside four existing gas and oil-fired thermal power plants. With no shortage of electricity, the country exports nearly 10% of its power to neighboring Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Mali.

The country aims to increase capacity to 3,500 MW by 2025, 5,200 MW by 2030 and 8,600 MW by 2040, with the government’s ambition to establish the country as West Africa’s energy hub, leveraging renewable energies to achieve this vision, according to Coulibaly.

With an estimated daily direct normal irradiation of 3510 Wh/m2, the Ivory Coast is attracting interest from other renewable energy developers. Prime Minister Mambé announced that contracts are currently being reviewed for the construction of additional solar power plants, totaling 600 MW in capacity, set to be commissioned in 2025 and 2026. Among them is the 50 MW solar plant developed by Emirati company Amea Power, which will invest €56 million as part of a public-private partnership. The plant will be connected to the grid of the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Électricité, which will purchase its output for 25 years. Additionally, Emirati state-owned Masdar is also exploring the possibility of installing a 50-70 MW solar power plant.

The MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2024 conference and exhibition returns for its fourth edition in Dakar, Senegal, from December 3-4. Panel discussions will provide insights into the state of renewable energy across the entire West African region, including Ivory Coast, along with investment opportunities, particularly in solar power.