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A $4 million Asian Development Bank loan issued to Barakat Kandahar Solar Energy will help expand the adoption of renewable energy in Afghanistan.

The loan will fund the development of a 15.1MW solar power plant

The Kandahar Solar Power Project will generate 27.5GW of electricity and avoid 8,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

The aim of the project is to reach a goal set by the government to generate 40% share/5,000MW of the country’s total energy capacity from solar by 2032.

To date, Afghanistan’s solar capacity accounts for 1% of the country’s total 3MW of energy generated.

The arid region has a potential to generate 220,000MW of solar energy.

The project will improve consumer access to energy

ADB will also administer a $3.85 million loan from the Canadian Climate Fund for Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II) for the project.

“Having a stable, sustainable, and reliable energy source is important for the growth and development prospects of Afghanistan, where power generation and access is one of the lowest in the world,” said Senior Public–Private Partnership specialist at ADB’s Office of Public–Private Partnerships Mr. Mohammed Azim Hashimi. “ADB’s support for this important project will help provide long-term financing that is not available locally to build and operate a state-of-the-art solar power plant in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan ranks in the bottom 5% in terms of per capita electricity usage, with only 30% of the country’s population connected to the grid in 2015