West Africa: Regional leader on renewable energy and energy efficiency


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The newly released ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report—produced collaboratively by REN21 and ECREEE—provides a regional perspective on the renewable energy and energy efficiency market and industry development in West Africa. Released November 10, 2014, the report concludes that while access to energy services remains severely constrained in the region, renewables and energy efficiency measures contribute to improved access. Moreover, together renewables and energy efficiency are a cost effective solutions for overcoming the diverse array of energy challenges currently facing the ECOWAS region. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

• As of early 2014, installed capacity of grid-connected non-hydro renewable energy provided 39MW grid-connected electricity in the region. While total installed capacity including hydro generated electricity was 4.8GW

• By end of 2014, 13 ECOWAS member states have adopted renewable energy support policies with all member states having at least one policy or one target at the national level, promoting renewable energy technology development.

• Regional new investment in renewable power and fuels from six leading ECOWAS members (Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone) was USD 29.7 million in 2013, down significantly from the peak of USD 370 million in 2011.

• As of 2014, FITs have been adopted by Ghana and Nigeria and are currently being developed in the Gambia and Senegal. Cabo Verde became the first and only country within the ECOWAS region to adopt net metering.

• Renewable energy technologies currently account for an estimated 28.8% of the region’s total grid-connected installed capacity

• Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, and Sierra Leone stood out as regional leaders in terms of the renewable contribution to their final consumption—at 30.3%, 22.4%, and 19%, respectively— largely as a result of their use of modern biomass.

• Hydropower accounted for 16.2% Total electricity installed capacity in Nigeria, 57% in Ghana and also played a relatively significant role in Togo (28.8%), Côte d’Ivoire (28.2%) and Guinea (34.2%). With a region-wide hydropower potential of some 25 GW, only 19% has been exploited as of early 2014

• As of early 2014, population shares using improved biomass cook stoves in ECOWAS were 2.1% in Burkina Faso, 6% in Nigeria, 16% in Senegal, 10% in Sierra Leone and 20% in the Gambia.

• Wind energy provided 27 MW (25.5MW comes from Cabo Verde’s Cabeolica wind farm, sub-Saharan Africa’s first commercial-scale public private partnership.

• Cabo Verde leads with the installation of In terms of installed grid-connected solar PV with 6.4 MW. Ghana has an installed capacity of 1.92MW.

• The region’s use of solar PV technology remains largely limited to distributed and off-grid functions, Senegal leads with installed capacity of 21MW, followed by Nigeria with 20MW and Niger with 4MW.

• As of 2014, 8 member states (Benin, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) have different energy-efficient lighting initiatives.

• Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria have established domestic programmes for energy efficiency in the building sector.

The ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report, covers recent developments and trends in the energy sector in the ECOWAS. It uses up-to-date renewable energy data, provided by network of contributors from and around West Africa and is targeted at policymakers, industry, investors and civil society to enable them to make informed decisions with regards to the diffusion of renewable energy By design it does not provide any analysis or forecasts.