Major stakeholders in West Africa’s energy sector were due to meet in Accra, Ghana, Monday to establish a regional framework for the attainment of the three critical targets set by the UN under its Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) by 2030.
The SE4ALL seeks to extract the commitment of member states to take concrete actions towards ensuring universal access to energy services; doubling the share of renewal energy in the global energy mix and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
The ECOWAS Commission said the Accra forum would assist the region determine how to leverage the more than US$500 billion generated in commitments during Rio+20 conference under the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Group on sustainable energy for all and how this can be transformed into a “framework for concrete actions,”tapping into the present international enthusiasm for sustainable energy to achieve the objectives of SE4ALL in the region.
In response to the SE4ALL, ECOWAS has launched a regional renewable energy policy and a regional policy on energy efficiency, with both initiatives managed by the Cape Verde-based ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), with the support of the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme and the ACP-EU Energy Facility.
The two regional policy documents are expected be adopted by regional Ministers of Energy during the three-day forum in Accra.
The aim of the regional energy policy is to ensure that the renewable energy contribution to the region’s installed energy generation capacity increases to 35 per cent by 2020, and to 48 per cent in 2030.
The region’s share of renewable energy is also expected to increase to 10 per cent in 2020 and 19 per cent by 2030, which would translate into 2.425 MW and 7.606 MW of electricity, respectively.
On the other hand, the regional renewable energy policy envisages that 75 per cent of the region’s rural population are served by grid extension under a universal energy access programme, while the remainder of the population will be served through renewable energy sources, mostly through mini-grids and stand-alone systems.
The calculation under the policy is that by 2020, the whole population of the region will have access to improved cooking facilities while the share of ethanol and bio-diesel in transportation will increase by 5 percent in 2020 and 10 per cent in 2030.
The Accra forum, which is under the theme: “Towards sustainable energy for all, paving the way through renewable energy and energy efficiency,” is jointly sponsored by ECOWAS, the Government of Ghana, Global forum for sustainable energy, UNIDO and the Global Energy Fund (GEF).