West Africa eyes funding from $500b SE4ALL programme for energy projects

West Africa has developed two energy policies on how to secure funds from the $500 billion commitments made during the Rio+20 conference in Brazil for energy-related projects.

Major players in the industry have converged in Ghana’s capital Accra to debate on the issue which will likely lead to the establishment of 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 forum which started October 29 and ends today October 31, 2012. Stakeholders will be adopting the two energy policies – Regional renewable energy policy and Regional policy on energy efficiency managed by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

“The Accra forum will assist the region determine how to leverage the more than $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,” ECOWAS said in a statement.

According to the West African bloc, 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.

ECOWAS’ regional energy policy aims at ensuring that the renewable energy contribution to the region’s installed energy generation capacity increases to 35% by 2020, and to 48% in 2030.

The region’s share of renewable energy is also expected to increase to 10% in 2020 and 19% by 2030

According the statement, the energy efficiency policy on the other side, has the goals of creating the institutional structures for realizing five strategic regional initiatives including phasing out of inefficient incandescent bulbs by 2020; reducing average loses in electricity distribution from the present 16% to the global standard of 7% by 2020; and achieving universal access to safe, clean, affordable and sustainable cooking for all ECOWAS citizens by 2030.

Others are establishing technical committee for energy efficiency standards and labelling by 2014, and creating instruments for financing sustainable energy, it added.

By Ekow Quandzie

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