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ECOWAS Status Report

RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY STATUS REPORT 2014 | 23 Applying these electricity access rates to population figures pro- vides an estimate of each Member State’s share of the region’s total population without access to electricity.28 (See Figure 5.) In 2010, Nigeria accounted for nearly half (48%) of all ECOWAS inhabitants without access. Between 2000 and 2010, West Africa added an estimated 50 million people to the grid.29 However, in energy scenarios to 2030, ECREEE projects that without significant investment in access expansion, energy poverty will continue to have considerable negative consequences on regional economies and societies.30 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports that under a business-as-usual scenario, approximately 21% of households in the ECOWAS region (mostly in rural areas) will still lack electricity in 2030, illustrating the need to revamp national and regional approaches to electrification.31 Access to modern cooking fuels is also severely limited in ECOWAS Member States. In sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, the average share of national populations relying on solid fuels for cooking is just over 79%; within ECOWAS, this figure rises to 85.7%.32 (See Chapter 2 for a more detailed examination of cooking fuels.) The positive correlation between energy access and human development has been widely noted; for this reason, SE4ALL commits to ensuring universal access to modern energy services as a means to reduce poverty, improve education and human health, and power economic growth.33 SE4ALL has established a template for Country Action Agendas—defining and articulating countries’ visions and targets to 2030, priority action areas, and follow-up mechanisms—to serve as a framework for donor coordination, assistance, and participation by the private and civil sectors.34 ECOWAS governments have recognised the limitations that energy poverty poses on development and have committed to improving access rates and reliability of modern energy services, notably by working with ECREEE to develop Action Plans for renewable energy and energy efficiency in each Member State by December 2014. (See Chapter 4 for a more detailed examination of this process.) Energy Security Additional factors pose significant threats to energy security. In the electricity sector, high commercial and technical losses and a growing gap between projected power demand and generation capacity make it increasingly difficult to provide reliable, affordable electricity.35 TheAfrica-European Union Energy Partnership (AEEP) estimates that average transmission and distribution network losses in West Africa decreased from 45.3% in 2000 to 21.5% in 2010,vi highlighting both the progress being made and the need to make further improvements.36 Even in areas with electricity access, frequent power outages and unreliability—particularly during hours of peak demand or during the dry season in areas largely dependent on hydropower production—limit electricity consumption and its attendant benefits.37 In Côte d’Ivoire, the quality of electricity service in electrified areas has reportedly improved in many neighbourhoods since 2012, although outages continue to occur several times per month.38 Throughout the region, problems with maintenance and upkeep reduce functional capacity, creating further challenges. In Guinea-Bissau, it has been estimated that as a result of obsolete equipment and limited maintenance, available capacity in the public network fell from 12.7 megawatts (MW) in 2003 to 2 MW in 2013, and available self-generation capacity declined from 15 MW to 2.5 MW over the same period.39 In Ghana, an estimated more than 400 MW of generation capacity is currently unavailable due to expansion and maintenance issues.40 In countries with limited capacity, problems with even a single generation unit can have significant negative impacts throughout the entire electricity system.41 Heavy dependence on either fossil fuels or hydropower can pose additional challenges. In 2010, four Member States produced refined petroleum. Only Côte d’Ivoire produced more than it consumed, demonstrating the region’s exposure to global price volatility and supply disruption.42 (See Figure 6.) While fossil fuel extraction has been an important economic factor in specific ECOWAS countries—including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria—the vast majority of Member States remain reliant on fuel imports to meet their needs, and only five Member States have proven oil reserves.43 (See Figure 6.) In Ghana, rising fuel prices and uncertain inflows to hydropower plants, particularly during the dry season, have resulted in a failure to achieve full generation capacity.44 vi. Based on data for West Africa from Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), Status Report: Africa-EU Energy Partnership. REGIONAL INTRODUCTION 01 ECOWAS GOVERNMENTS HAVE RECOGNISED THE LIMITATIONS THAT ENERGY POVERTY POSES ON DEVELOPMENT AND HAVE COMMITTED TO IMPROVING ACCESS RATES AND RELIABILITY OF MODERN ENERGY SERVICES, NOTABLY BY WORKING WITH ECREEE TO DEVELOP ACTION PLANS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN EACH MEMBER STATE BY DECEMBER 2014.

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