Renewable Energy

The ECOWAS region is facing a severe energy crisis and the challenges of energy security, energy poverty and climate change mitigation simultaneously. The countries face the interrelated challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation simultaneously. The lack of access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services is interrelated.

In January 2006, the Heads of States and Governments of the 15 ECOWAS member states adopted the ECOWAS/UEMOA regional policy on considerably increasing access to energy services for populations in rural and peri‐urban areas for poverty reduction hoping that its implementation would lead to an acceleration of development processes towards the achievement of the MDGs. Three targets were proposed to be achieved by 2015 to tackle economic, social, environmental and political challenges.

Due to growing energy deficit in the ECOWAS region, many member states have expressed the need to mainstream renewable energy into their national policies.

Under the regional SE4ALL Framework for West Africa, there are three priority actions that aims to contribute towards increased access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services, energy security and mitigation of negative externalities of the energy system:

ECOWAS Small-Scale Hydropower Program

Adopted by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in June 2013, aims to contribute towards increased access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services by establishing an enabling environment for small-scale hydro power investments and markets in the ECOWAS region.

ECOWAS Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Program 

The overall goal of the program SOLtrain West Africa is to contribute to the switch from a fossil fuel based energy supply to sustainable energy supply systems based solar thermal energy in particular.

The program focusses on solar water heating and on solar thermal drying of agricultural products, such as cereal, fruits, coffee, cacao, herbs, fish and meat.

ECOWAS Bioenergy Program

The overall goal of the ECOWAS Bioenergy Program is to contribute to increasing access to energy services based on sustainable production, transformation and utilization of biomass resources including the use of agro-industrial and municipal waste.

The Program promotes the use of efficient devices and equipment for biomass resources. It aims to promote the use of woody biomass, its derivatives and residues, agricultural products and residues not used for food, feed or fiber, and bio-waste from industrial processes for animals, plants or trees. These can be transformed into solid, liquid or gaseous products to be used for clean, efficient and sustainable energy generation.

Additionally, the Program seeks to promote the transition away from the inefficient and unsustainable use of the biomass resources towards the sustainable production, transformation and use of renewable biomass for cooking, heating and power generation to meet the energy needs of the population in West Africa.