Regional Progress Report 2017 on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access in the ECOWAS region
This report is the second regional progress report within the framework of the Regional Monitoring and Reporting for the ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency policies and the Sustainable Energy Country Action Plans (abbreviated as Regional Monitoring Framework).
In 2017, only 52.3% of the ECOWAS population had access to the electricity grid, which makes a concrete case for promoting the deployment of off-grid systems such as mini-grids and stand-alone technologies. These technologies will help to increase electricity access, in order to attain the 65% regional access target by 2020.
Medium and large hydropower plants play a significant role in the region’s electricity supply. With more than five gigawatts of installed capacity, they contributed approximately 27.6% of electricity generated in 2017. Grid-connected renewable energy (small hydropower, solar PV, wind and biomass) contributed 1.8% of installed capacity. This goes to show that more effort is required in the short term to achieve the target of 10% by 2020.
Efforts are ongoing at various sectors towards improving the institutional and legislative framework in order to increase the rate of energy efficiency. These improvements include, for example, in the domestic sector - promotion of efficient lighting and efficient electrical appliances; in the public and industrial sectors - energy efficiency improvements in public buildings, energy efficiency in industrial processes; and the electricity sector - reduction of losses in transmission and distribution networks.
As electricity generation capacity increases, reducing the technical losses in transmission and distribution networks is increasingly important. Although network losses have been decreasing overtime, 39.5% of the electricity produced was lost in the ECOWAS region, amounting to 26,611 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2017. This gap is far from the set target of 10% for 2020. Non-technical losses are a big burden on the financial viability of the utilities and undermine the development, maintenance and expansion of the transmission networks. Indeed, the regional weighted percentage of non-technical losses in 2017 amounted to 12.9% (2,554 GWh).
Increasing the market share of efficient lighting in the region played a significant role in energy savings. Over one million efficient on-grid lights and thousands of efficient public lights were sold and distributed in the region.
Some member states have not been able to provide quantitative data for some particular indicators. For example, data about the number of people served by stand-alone renewable energy systems in the region cannot be precisely estimated. This is because the relevant framework and processes are not yet in place in the member states, to help collect and access the penetration rate of such systems. The same applies to the penetration rate of improved cookstoves (ICS) and a number of energy efficiency indicators, like the market share of energy-efficient lighting. Where no quantitative data was available, qualitative analysis was used.
The individual countries and the region at large requires regular updates on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access in order to make effective decisions when planning. This Progress Report serves as an important tool for policy makers and other stakeholders by providing annual snapshots and trends along the three axes covered.
Download the report below.