A workshop on the “Analysis of legal and economic obstacles to the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency in the framework of a regional climate change policy in West Africa” will take place from 14 to 16 July, 2014, in Praia, Cabo VerdeThe event will gather experts from the fields of climate change, renewable energy financing, renewable energy projects development, policy developers, researchers and practitioners from West Africa and Europe. The workshop intends to unearth research opportunities in the area of renewable energy and energy efficiency as the basis for a sustained, long-term cooperation among the West Africa Institute (WAI), the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI). 

ECREEE is mandated to ensure market penetrations of Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) programmes, through proposing and implementing pragmatic policies in the area of RE and EE. Established since July 2010, ECREEE’s portfolio includes Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency programmes and projects spread throughout the sub-region. However, there is need for scientific research to underpin future policies, programmes and projects, to maximize their benefits to the people of West Africa.

Being an institute dedicated to research on regional integration and social transformations in West Africa, WAI’s mandate includes ensuring that policies made within West Africa, both at sub-regional and national levels, are based on sound empirical research. Thus WAI can provide scientific research information to support ECREEE’s RE projects, while benefiting from the latter’s experiences and networks.

ZEI is an interdisciplinary research and further education institute at the University of Bonn, ably supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Since 2010, ZEI has collaborated with WAI to undertake academic research in the area of regional integration in West Africa and Europe within the framework of the WAI-ZEI research and consulting project “Sustainable Regional Integration in West Africa and Europe,” financed by BMBF. The WAI-ZEI-ECREEE cooperation aims to build on the successes of this existing collaboration, in tandem with the WAI’s objective of partnering with institutions that share in its vision

The workshop, planned to combine theory and practice, will not only enable the expert collate information on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency development in West Africa, but also ensure that the WAI-ZEI-ECREEE collaboration has sound, state-of-the-art knowledge base. The expected outcomes of the meeting are:

  • Comprehensive data on the status of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Programmes;
  • Inventory of the best places for implementation of various renewable energy projects e.g. wind, solar and hydro;
  • Inventory of potential beneficiary or feasible investment projects that could be compiled for future research into their development;
  • Inventory or list of key Renewable Energy experts and businesses in the ECOWAS region;
  • Information on the need for capacity building and the competent institutions in the ECOWAS;
  • Contact list of national Renewable Energy focal points and web based information network established;
  • Inventory of potential Renewable Energy research projects