The changing climate is a significant risk for vulnerable communities in the countries in which we work. PIDG must assess how its activities can help to mitigate climate change as well as identifying how those activities are helping communities to adapt. In addition, the infrastructure must itself be resilient to climate change.
Where PIDG is developing renewable power plants as part of a country’s energy system, these projects have a direct impact on the mitigation of climate change. The Akuo Kita solar plant in Mali reached financial close with EAIF support in 2017 and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 51,744 tonnes per year.
InfraCo Asia’s support for a biomass project in Sri Lanka will also have a positive impact on climate change through the substitution of fossil fuel sources with renewable sources.
Some projects are more focused on adaptation to climate change. The irrigated land at Chanyanya and Chiansi in Zambia, which InfraCo Africa brought to financial close in 2017, will help farmers to be more resilient in the face of changes in rainfall, enabling them to grow crops for more of the year.
PIDG’s clear preference is to support alternatives to fossil fuels for energy generation. However, PIDG can consider thermal power in circumstances where the project is in a poor country or in a Fragile or Conflict-Affected State and there are no cleaner power generation base load technologies that are technically or economically viable to provide grid stability.
Reducing emissions, increasing farmer incomes
InfraCo Asia is supporting Biomass Ventures, which creates biomass chips and pellets for markets in Asia through an outgrower model. Farmers are given training to grow Gliricidia trees in their plots and enter long-term agreements to supply the woodcuttings for biomass. Once this reaches scale, the proposal is to build a pellet production plant. The farmers can grow the biomass alongside their normal crops, increasing their usual incomes. Tree branches are harvested instead of the entire tree, creating a carbon sink and therefore mitigating climate change. PIDG’s Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) has provided financial support to enable the company to register as a seller of the carbon credits created through this system.