West African Countries Recommends Creation of Solar Energy Corridor

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced that it has taken the initiative to create a West Africa Clean Energy Corridor (WACEC) to strengthen the share of renewable energy in the energy mix of the region.

The principal objective of WACEC is to support the development of utility-scale renewable energy-based power, to encourage the integration of renewable energy sources into the West African power systems and to generate a market for trans-border regional power trade.

ECOWAS Ministers of Energy sanctioned the idea of WACEC in December 2016. It was later espoused by the authority of ECOWAS heads of states in June 2017, making it a precedence project of the ECOWAS.

Here are some of the mainstays for the execution of WACEC:

  • Identification of high resource potential and environmentally sustainable zones
  • National and regional planning for integration of renewable energy into national and local master plans for power generation and transmission
  • Enabling frameworks to promote investments
  • Capacity building with higher shares of renewable electricity generation
  • Public support to the initiative and awareness

WACEC is a association of The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the West African Power Pool (WAPP), and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA).

Many organizations such as Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and ProMERC with funding from the European Union (EU) are backing ECREEE to develop strategies for regional corridors for solar, wind, and hydropower.

The preliminary focus of WACEC is solar energy and hydropower which are the most commonly shared resources by the ECOWAS countries. The EU Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) has conducted an initial study on “West Africa Solar Corridor support program and accompanying technical and economic considerations,” addressing the specific barriers and challenges for the development of solar power in the region and giving appropriate strategy recommendations.

Policies & Regulations | News published on 05/03/2019 by Moulin

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