A planned new solar facility in Afghanistan will help reduce the country’s reliance on energy imports.

With around 300 days of sunshine annually, Afghanistan has huge solar energy potential, it just needs to develop the infrastructure to capitalise on it.

And the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping, by providing $44.76 million of funding for the development of a 20MW plant in Kabul’s Surobi district.

“The demand for power is rapidly growing across Afghanistan and economic development and income opportunities depend on sufficient energy supplies. The new on-grid solar power generation project, which is the largest of its kind in Afghanistan, will not only provide access to a clean and reliable power supply, but also demonstrate the viability of future renewable energy investments through public-private partnerships,” explained Samuel Tumiwa, ADB Country Director for Afghanistan.

More initiatives like these are needed to tap into Afghanistan’s 300,000 MW renewable energy bounty, two-thirds  of which is in solar power, to address a scenario where only a third of citizens have access to grid-connected electricity.