The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) latest proposal for Zambia’s renewable energy financing network has been approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The proposal has been awarded a $50 million loan and a $2.5 million grant.

The purpose of these renewable energy projects in Zambia is to finance 100 MW of renewable energy projects in Zambia’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff (REFiT) policy. The projects, which mainly include solar projects, will help diversify Zambia’s energy production, which is heavily reliant on hydroelectricity.

“Facing a serious electricity supply deficit, owing to recent drought, the Zambian government launched the REFiT policy last year to crowd-in private investments for small-scale renewable projects of up to 20 MW,” reports the AfDB. This framework marks the first co-financed programme by the AfDB and the GCF. It follows their signing of the Accreditation Master Agreement on November 8, making AfDB a credited implementer of GCF-approved projects. Of the partnership, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina says, “This is a significant first fruit of our joint commitment for development and growth in Africa that aligns with the Paris Agreement. We look forward to partnering further with the GCF to help increase Africa’s share of climate finance.”

In addition to this framework, the AfDB has climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as powering Africa earmarked as essential and at the top of their agenda. The Bank’s second climate change plan commits to 40% of AfDB approvals being classified as climate finance, yearly, by 2020 and its ‘new deal’ in energy for Africa, which aims to provide universal access to energy, by 2025.

“This project represents an important and fitting milestone in our partnership with GCF. The projects pave the way for providing clean, sustainable energy to about 300 000 people, through diversifying Zambia’s energy mix,” notes Adesina. AfDB power, energy, climate and green growth VP Amadou Hott believes that these approaches will make Zambia more resilient to the effects of climate change.

What do you think of these renewable energy projects in Zambia? Let us know what you think in the comments below!