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Scaling up renewable energy investments
in West Africa
Coalition for Action’s Business and Investors Group
Daniele Guzzo
RES4Africa Foundation
IRENA Coalition for Action Member and Co-Author
6 February 2024
RES4Africa Background:
• Established in 2012, RES4Africa focuses on
advancing Africa's just energy transition to
accomplish SDG7
• Acts as a liaison between Europe and Africa,
facilitating dialogue and collaboration
• Builds a network of members across the clean
energy sector in both continents
• Forms high-level international partnerships to
promote investment in clean energy technologies
• Ensures continuous engagement among key energy
stakeholders
Background
2
Demographics and Energy Access:
• Population totaling nearly 400 million people
• 10 million people entering the job market annually
• Widespread Lack of Modern Energy Access: 47% lack electricity and 87% lack clean
cooking fuels
Macro-Economic Overview:
• African Development Bank projects regional GDP growth to be 4.2% for 2023
• In 2022, an average inflation rate of 9.9%
• Well-established regional organizations like ECOWAS’ ECREEE, WAPP, and ERERA
actively encourage cooperation and trade in West Africa while advancing regional
energy integration and renewable energy development
West Africa’s Background
3
Energy Sector Overview:
• Multiple high-voltage interconnections among ECOWAS Member States boost cross-
border electricity trade and regional energy cooperation
• ECOWAS Master Plan’s target of 600 MW
• Renewable Capacity (2020):
• Only 6 GW of West Africa's 26 GW total power capacity is from renewable sources.
• Renewable Resource Potential (IRENA and AfDB):
1. Solar: 1956 GW
2. Wind: 106 GW
3. Hydropower: 162 GW
West Africa’s Background
• Off-grid Solutions (2023):
1. 385 mini-grids in operation
2. 95% powered by solar PV
3. Combined capacity: ~0.03
GW
4
Barriers and Solutions:
• Address regulatory gaps, underdeveloped grids, and technical barriers
• Achieve goals through sustained sector reform, cost-reflective tariffs, and efficient
investment aligned with national plans
Investment Needs:
• USD 67 billion for renewable power generation and USD 52 billion for transmission and
distribution infrastructure, projected annual savings: USD 2-6 billion from 2030 (IRENA)
• The World Bank, the WAPP and partners have mobilised around USD 5 billion to build
nine cross-border interconnectors, with the goal of connecting all 14 WAPP member
countries by 2024
West Africa’s Background
5
• Recommendation 1:
Enhance the regional dimension of renewable energy in West
Africa at the policy, financial and technical levels, and draw
attention to the opportunities and benefits that renewables
bring to the region.
Establish and reinforce strategic and results-oriented
partnerships with various African and international organisations
and development partners active in the renewable energy field.
Support and facilitate local job creation through a re-skilling lab
and favourable policies.
Ensure that research and innovation are financed and supported
to enable technological improvements and to adapt renewable
energy technologies to local conditions.
Recommendations
6
• Recommendation 2: Co-ordinate the development of
power generation with the development of the
infrastructure network, to avoid bottlenecks and fully
exploit the potential of renewable energy.
Develop a clear and transparent regulatory framework
Establish rules for generator access and use of the network
Harmonise the permitting process among Member States
Develop regional grid codes
Include flexibility elements in the generation system
Recommendations
• Recommendation 3: Include decentralised renewable
energy solutions in national strategies to maximise
energy access
• Recommendation 4: Include clean cooking solutions
in national strategies to enhance energy access
• Recommendation 5: Adopt a clear regulatory
framework and ensure its implementation
Recommendations
8
• Recommendation 6: Establish financial guarantee
schemes to reduce the cost and manage currency risk
• Recommendation 7: Build the capacity of public
institutions, policy makers and technical operators to
enhance the local workforce and to ensure a just and
fair energy transition, strengthen community
engagement, and develop a standardized regional
certification scheme
Recommendations
9
Thank you
I. Holistic Approach
II. Urgent Need for
Investment
III. Grid Infrastructure
is Key

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Scaling up renewable energy investments in West Africa

  • 1. Scaling up renewable energy investments in West Africa Coalition for Action’s Business and Investors Group Daniele Guzzo RES4Africa Foundation IRENA Coalition for Action Member and Co-Author 6 February 2024
  • 2. RES4Africa Background: • Established in 2012, RES4Africa focuses on advancing Africa's just energy transition to accomplish SDG7 • Acts as a liaison between Europe and Africa, facilitating dialogue and collaboration • Builds a network of members across the clean energy sector in both continents • Forms high-level international partnerships to promote investment in clean energy technologies • Ensures continuous engagement among key energy stakeholders Background 2
  • 3. Demographics and Energy Access: • Population totaling nearly 400 million people • 10 million people entering the job market annually • Widespread Lack of Modern Energy Access: 47% lack electricity and 87% lack clean cooking fuels Macro-Economic Overview: • African Development Bank projects regional GDP growth to be 4.2% for 2023 • In 2022, an average inflation rate of 9.9% • Well-established regional organizations like ECOWAS’ ECREEE, WAPP, and ERERA actively encourage cooperation and trade in West Africa while advancing regional energy integration and renewable energy development West Africa’s Background 3
  • 4. Energy Sector Overview: • Multiple high-voltage interconnections among ECOWAS Member States boost cross- border electricity trade and regional energy cooperation • ECOWAS Master Plan’s target of 600 MW • Renewable Capacity (2020): • Only 6 GW of West Africa's 26 GW total power capacity is from renewable sources. • Renewable Resource Potential (IRENA and AfDB): 1. Solar: 1956 GW 2. Wind: 106 GW 3. Hydropower: 162 GW West Africa’s Background • Off-grid Solutions (2023): 1. 385 mini-grids in operation 2. 95% powered by solar PV 3. Combined capacity: ~0.03 GW 4
  • 5. Barriers and Solutions: • Address regulatory gaps, underdeveloped grids, and technical barriers • Achieve goals through sustained sector reform, cost-reflective tariffs, and efficient investment aligned with national plans Investment Needs: • USD 67 billion for renewable power generation and USD 52 billion for transmission and distribution infrastructure, projected annual savings: USD 2-6 billion from 2030 (IRENA) • The World Bank, the WAPP and partners have mobilised around USD 5 billion to build nine cross-border interconnectors, with the goal of connecting all 14 WAPP member countries by 2024 West Africa’s Background 5
  • 6. • Recommendation 1: Enhance the regional dimension of renewable energy in West Africa at the policy, financial and technical levels, and draw attention to the opportunities and benefits that renewables bring to the region. Establish and reinforce strategic and results-oriented partnerships with various African and international organisations and development partners active in the renewable energy field. Support and facilitate local job creation through a re-skilling lab and favourable policies. Ensure that research and innovation are financed and supported to enable technological improvements and to adapt renewable energy technologies to local conditions. Recommendations 6
  • 7. • Recommendation 2: Co-ordinate the development of power generation with the development of the infrastructure network, to avoid bottlenecks and fully exploit the potential of renewable energy. Develop a clear and transparent regulatory framework Establish rules for generator access and use of the network Harmonise the permitting process among Member States Develop regional grid codes Include flexibility elements in the generation system Recommendations
  • 8. • Recommendation 3: Include decentralised renewable energy solutions in national strategies to maximise energy access • Recommendation 4: Include clean cooking solutions in national strategies to enhance energy access • Recommendation 5: Adopt a clear regulatory framework and ensure its implementation Recommendations 8
  • 9. • Recommendation 6: Establish financial guarantee schemes to reduce the cost and manage currency risk • Recommendation 7: Build the capacity of public institutions, policy makers and technical operators to enhance the local workforce and to ensure a just and fair energy transition, strengthen community engagement, and develop a standardized regional certification scheme Recommendations 9
  • 10. Thank you I. Holistic Approach II. Urgent Need for Investment III. Grid Infrastructure is Key