Solar Is Burkina Faso’s Hope For A Better Future

National Economy

The land-locked African country of Burkina Faso is bordered by Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. The population of Burkina Faso is approximately 23.35 million people.

In 2021, Burkina Faso’s economy was ranked 110th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, raw cotton, zinc ore, oily seeds, coconuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Burkina Faso signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 6.6 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, only 19.0 % of the people Burkina Faso had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned power company, Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso (SONABEL) used refined petroleum (86.9 %), and renewable energy (13.1 %), to generate electricity in the country. Solar and hydropower are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Burkina Faso.

Recent renewable energy projects in Burkina Faso include:

  • 38 MW Solar Project In August 2022, French power company, Africa Ren commissioned the Kodeni solar power station at a site approximately 200 miles southwest of Ouagadougou, the nation’s capital.
  • 30 MW Solar Project – In December 2021, French renewable energy company, Green Yellow commissioned the Nagréongo power station at a site approximately 18 miles northeast of Ouagadougou.
  • 6 MW Solar Project United Arab Emirates renewable energy company, AMEA Power is continuing work on the Zina solar power at a site approximately 115 miles southwest of Ouagadougou. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.


Burkina Faso imports refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Burkina Faso imported U.S. $578 Million for refined petroleum and U.S. $147 Million for electricity from neighboring, Ghana.

Burkina Faso has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and biomass. However, importing costly refined petroleum has limited Burkina Faso’s government from investing in the development of new, renewable energy projects.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. Burkina Faso will require substantial international aide, if it is to significantly increase access to electricity for the people in this beautiful country. Solar is Burkina Faso’s best hope for a better future.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy issues and topics.


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