ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF2017)
At the end of the first edition of the ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (ESEF2017) held in Dakar, Senegal from 11- 13 October, delegates stressed the urgent need for more commitment at the national level from member states. Thus, they called on ECREEE to provide the necessary technical support for the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency policies in order to achieve the ambitious goals of the region.
Over the course of the 3-day deliberation, the forum identified specific challenges preventing the uptake of viable renewable energy and energy efficiency market in the ECOWAS region. Through a series of presentations, panel discussions and side-events stakeholders committed to working towards achieving a viable sustainable energy market in ECOWAS. The lack of Innovative solutions, unreliable power supply, lack of storage, and transmission and distribution bottlenecks were revealed as some of the key challenges to sustainable energy delivery. The Forum called for a harmonized energy market and concerted approach among member state.
On the issue of power infrastructure and human resources, the forum recommended the creation of solid and sustainable facilities with highly qualified staff, sharing of good practices such as technology-transfer and capacity-building. The Forum observed that some countries seem fared better than others in terms of capturing investment in the renewable sector and therefore suggested more synergies as well as sharing of experiences for the benefit of all member countries.
Aside from providing a platform for B2B and public-private partnerships, the main outcomes of ESEF2017, were:
- Official launch of the preparation of the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) in collaboration with the World Bank;
- Adoption of the roadmap for the West African Solar Corridor in collaboration with IRENA.
These two flagship initiatives under the leadership of ECREEE will drastically change the paradigm when it comes to meeting the region’s energy demand in a sustainable manner.
ROGEP, as the name indicate will focus on the promotion of off-grid renewable energy technologies in ECOWAS countries, Mauritania, Chad, Central Africa Republic and Cameroon, with its focus on market promotion of standalone solar systems.
The West African Solar Corridor is a component of the West African Clean Energy Corridor, which aims at harnessing renewable energy resources through utility-scale power plants and trans-boundary trade of electricity to meet a significant share of the region’s demand for electricity. Through the Solar Corridor 2GW and 10 GW are targeted by 2020 and 2030 respectively.
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