• “The solar photovoltaic power plant of Zagtouli will be the largest solar power plant in West Africa”

“The solar photovoltaic power plant of Zagtouli will be the largest solar power plant in West Africa”

During the second edition of the Energies and Renewable Energies of Africa (SEERA) held last May in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Energy, Professor Alfa Oumar Dissa, explained the major innovations in his country in the use of renewable energies. Highlight on SEERA with an exclusive interview of the Minister.


Interview by Ibrahima SANOU


What is special about the second edition of SEERA? Perhaps its theme: “Promoting the energy mix and efficiency for sustainable access to energy for all”?

SEERA 2017 is in line with Burkina Faso Government’s vision for the promotion of sustainable energy for all through increased available and accessible energy, one of the major objectives of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (NPESD). This theme resonated with the commitments of the Government of Burkina Faso, which took the clear option of the energy transition through the use of renewable energies and by the promotion of energy efficiency, under the commitments made by His Excellency, Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso, in his five-year program. The ultimate goal is to meet the structural deficit in supply and ultimately reduce the production costs that are crucial for our economic and social development.

What actions are under way in Burkina Faso to achieve the energy transition?

In Burkina Faso, we are increasing the electricity supply capacity through the construction of solar and thermal power plants, the promotion of solar facilities in public buildings and homes, the development of in/off grid Solar systems for rural electrification, the use of energy biomass, the continuation of current projects in production and the construction of pipelines and storage depots in the hydrocarbons. The ultimate objective is to increase the national electricity supply rate to 80% by 2020, to bring electricity production to 1000 MW, and have quantity and quality hydrocarbons throughout the country. 

Achieving these objectives requires a number of institutional and legislative reforms that were not effective at the first SEERA. What’s about this year?

The most recent reform is the National Assembly’s vote of April 20, 2017 on “the Law regulating the energy sector”, which allows: private investment in production and distribution – public-private partnership with injection into SONABEL’s interconnected network – and access of third-parties to the network. The new law will improve the country’s energy supply, reduce the gap between cities and the countryside, and support access to energy for all. Also, some major projects are mature, such as the solar photovoltaic power plant in Zagtouli – with a capacity of 33 MW, the construction of which is due to be completed before the end of 2017 – which will be the largest solar power plant in West Africa.

Your closing remarks…

I express my wish for a strong anchoring of SEERA, after this second edition, anchoring in Africa and Burkina Faso. And I am convinced that SEERA will position itself in the future as a showcase for all initiatives to promote access to energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency.


Author: Ibrahima SANOU // Photo: Pr Alfa Oumar Dissa, Minister of Energy of Burkina Faso © DR

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