THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the same footprint as Western Europe.
However, much of the DRC’s large population lack access to electricity — and, like most of the countries in Africa, renewables are the only viable way to rectify this issue.
Although hydropower had contributed to a significant share of the country’s installed capacity, the waterways the DRC relies on for electricity, the Inga I and Inga II rivers, have never operated at full capacity due to insufficient maintenance and lack of funding for refurbishment.
Meanwhile, the country’s size and sunlight levels make solar a reliable and sustainable source of power — and there are numerous plans in place to scale up its PV capacity in years to come.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) began work on the World Bank Group’s Scaling Mini-Grid (SMG) programme in March 2022, with aims to deploy 180MW of PV capacity and connect over 1.5 million homes in the DRC to electricity.
A 600MW PV plant known as Kinshasa Solar City situated in Menkao also entered construction in August 2023, with the potential to be extended to a capacity of 100MWp.
Whilst that was picking up speed, the DRC joined forces with renewable energy developer Bboxx and telecommunications operator Orange to launch another PV mini-grid project, hoping to provide over 600 households with a stable electricity supply before the start of 2023.
In addition to this, Bboxx is working on launching 24 more mini-grid projects by 2024, with its sights set on giving 150,000 people access to electricity, as part of its Connected Community Programme, which will oversee the construction of 750 mini-grids across the DRC in the next five years.
Plans for central Africa’s first green hydrogen PV power plant are also in the works as of March 2023, thanks to Hydrogéne de France (HDF Energy) — an independent power producer hoping to develop new innovative solar infrastructure in the DRC.
SegenSolar is keen to foster the development of additional small and large-scale PV installations across the DRC. If you are a homeowner, you can get in touch for more details about our work. If you are an installer, you can explore our range on the portal — just log in or sign up for a free account.