Afghanistan Invites Expression of Interest for 2 GW of Solar Projects

Afghanistan’s power demand likely to grow at 12-15 percent per annum over the next decade


Afghanistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) has invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from developers to set up 2 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the country. All interested investors or project developers are expected to submit their EoI along with their company profile to MEW on or before December 20, 2018.

According to MEW, 400 MW each of grid-connected solar PV each will be developed in Kabul, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Herat, and Balkh provinces of Afghanistan.

A single bidder must bid for a minimum 50 MW of grid-connected solar PV in each province. The land for each project will be allocated from the government. One project can consist of several locations in a specified province.

This solar PV capacity will lead to lower costs for the country as well as self-sufficiency in terms of power.

According to MEW, Afghanistan’s power demand can be expected to grow at 12-15 percent per annum over the next decade resulting in a supply shortfall of over 6,000 MW by 2023. The country’s current domestic power supply is around 1.073 GWh or 22 percent of total supply; while power imports from central Asia and Iran account for 78 percent of total supply. Afghanistan only generates around 504 MW of electricity mainly from hydro power followed by fossil fuel and solar power. It is estimated that the country will need more than 3,000 MW to meet its energy need by 2020.

The year 2018 has been good for renewable energy in Afghanistan. In June 2018, MEW issued a tender for a 5 MW hybrid solar project in the country. Afghanistan also awarded 50 MW of solar hybrid projects to be developed at the Hisar-e-Shahi Industrial Park in Nangarhar province and Khost province of Afghanistan.

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Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.