星期四, 11月 26, 2020
Home PV Policy IRENA to partner ECOWAS in renewable energy development

IRENA to partner ECOWAS in renewable energy development

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) promised here on Friday it would partner sub- regional grouping, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to harness the huge renewable energy potentials in member-states.
Deputy Director General (D-DG) of the agency, Frank Wouters, told the media after a two-day conference here that the tremendous economic growth Africa had been experiencing had also brought on a growing need for more energy to power the growing economy.
Founded in Bonn, Germany, in January 2009, IRENA is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy.
The International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) focused on the scaling up of rural electrification in developing countries through the off-grid systems' massive deployment (mini- grid and stand-alone applications) based on renewable energy.
The conference, held in conjunction with ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and Alliance for Rural Electrification, was to stimulate the dialogue among stakeholders involved in the rural electrification field and, in particular, between the public and the private sector, with a focus on Africa.
"Moreover, about 60 percent of Africans live in the rural areas where it was expensive to reach with grid power," Wouters explained.
Wouters said that West Africa was rich in renewable energy sources, such as solar, biomass, hydro, and wind and thermal, for which reason the two-day conference was held to discuss ways of financing such projects in the sub-region.
"Gone are the days when the technology and high prices of solar and other biomass technology was prohibitive," the Deputy D-DG assured the sub-regional heads, adding that the price of solar technology came down by 50 percent in 2011, and 60 percent in the preceding year, making it accessible and affordable for those who cared.
He explained that IRENA's approach was country-led meant to identify gaps in energy accessibility and plan solutions to them.
Deputy Director for Renewable Energy at the country's Ministry of Energy Seth Mahu said Ghana was on course to achieving a 10 percent renewable energy in the country's energy mix by 2020.
He believed that all sectors of the economy would attract investment if energy was available and cost effective.
"The government therefore passed the Renewable Energy Policy in 2011 to ensure development of renewable energy in the country," Mahu commented.
According to him, the Volta River Authority (VRA) had built a 10 Mega Watt (MW) solar project and a 150 MW wind project for the country.

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