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ECOWAS Status Report

| 14 Several projects in the region use modern biomass to supply electricity to the grid, including a 3 MW Waste-to-Power plant in Côte d’Ivoire. Primarily, biomass power production is used for self- generation in industrial plants. Wind and solar have long supplied power for tasks including water pumping, although data regarding region-wide implementation and use remain limited. In the face of insufficient and unreliable central grid systems, mini- grids and off-grid technologies present cost-effective ways to generate electricity in remote communities. Solar technologies— including solar PV, solar lanterns, and solar water heaters—are well-suited for distributed generation and rural electrification efforts and are being used throughout the ECOWAS region to power community centres, health clinics, and individual homes, as well as street lights, and for water heating, cooling, and drying. Renewable and hybrid mini-grids are increasingly being explored and implemented as solutions for rural electrification. The Malian Agency for the Development of Household Energy and Rural Electrification has been particularly active in developing mini- grids, including 21 hybrid PV-diesel projects totalling 2.1 MW. ENERGY EFFICIENCY Energy efficiency improvements are among the most cost-effective solutions for offsetting the rising energy costs, unpredictable and uncertain energy supply, and growing demand for energy services faced by ECOWAS Member States. Currently, the region’s continued reliance on aging and inefficient equipment (often acquired second-hand) combined with the inefficient use of traditional biomass results in low efficiency ratings. Collectively, the 15 ECOWAS Member States have an average energy intensity of 14.5 mega joules (MJ) per USD, well above the continental average of 11 MJ/USD. The ECOWAS Heads of State have prioritised energy efficiency as an essential tool to meet the region’s energy supply challenge, a commitment formalised with the 2013 adoption of the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP). The EEEP prioritises cooking, lighting, buildings, and electricity distribution as high-impact opportunities for improving efficiency, and outlines targets and priority measures to reduce energy use and increase productivity through the development of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP) in each Member State. Technical and non-technical losses in the region’s grid networks represent a major barrier to further energy sector development. National rates of electricity loss vary by Member State, ranging from 15% to 50%, while estimated average losses across the region fall between 21.5% and 25%. Despite the current lack of formalised initiatives to increase efficiency in the region’s electricity systems, ECREEE has identified two successful programmes—in Ghana and Nigeria—that have sought to reduce losses by improving and maintaining existing equipment, as well as removing illegal connections and optimising billing to increase cost recovery. For future infrastructure planning across the region, decentralised renewables have the potential to mitigate losses by reducing the need for extensive transmission infrastructure. Lighting, which accounts for 15% of global electricity consumption, has been identified as a “High Impact Opportunity” by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. Lighting is also a priority area for efficiency improvements in ECOWAS, where it is estimated, for example, that in Nigeria up to 60% of peak load goes to lighting services. Introducing efficiency measures is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce electricity consumption during peak periods. ECREEE is spearheading a region-wide focus on efficient lighting through the Regional Energy Efficient Lighting Strategy. The complete phase-out of incandescent lamps by 2020 is expected to result in annual energy savings of some 2.4 terawatt-hours, equal to 6.8% of the region’s annual consumption—which would meet the annual electricity needs of an estimated 2.4 million households and save the region more than USD 200 million per year. The transition to energy-efficient, clean cook stoves and cleaner cookingfuelsisanothercriticalcomponentoftheECOWASRenewable Energy Policy.The use of advanced cook stoves can mitigate many of thenegativehealth,environmental,andsocialimpactsassociatedwith the use of traditional biomass. In recent years, projects in the ECOWAS region have demonstrated many of the benefits of using energy- efficient stoves.These include cost, time, and fuel savings; easier and faster cooking; decreased smoke and negative health impacts from indoor air pollution; and the reduced occurrence and risk of fires and burns. In the Gambia, for example, households using new, efficient cook stoves reported a one-hour reduction in cooking time, and a one-third reduction in average monthly cooking fuel expenditures. Several national level training and dissemination programmes have been developed in ECOWAS Member States including the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is also active in the region, with Ghana and Nigeria ranking amongst its eight prioritised focus countries. Buildings, the final priority area of the EEEP, account for 30–40% of total final energy demand around the world. With a rapidly growing population, urban expansion, and projected economic growth, buildings’ contribution to energy demand across Africa is expected to rise. Energy efficiency improvements in buildings typically fall into two major categories: improvements in building construction and improvements in building energy use through advanced equipment. Benin has emerged as a leader in building sector energy efficiency—identifying potential for a 35% reduction in energy use from public buildings—and is joined by Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal as the only three ECOWAS Member States to have established domestic programmes for building efficiency. At the regional level, both ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) have enacted programmes dedicated to increasing building efficiency in West Africa through trainings, financing, and the development of standardised model building codes.

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