ECREEE Strengthens its Energy Efficiency Mandate

ECREEE Establishes a Technical Committee for the SEEA-WA Project
The Energy Efficiency Technical Committee (EETC), an advisory group comprised of national, regional and international experts on energy efficiency, has been set up by ECREEE to provide support for the implementation of the Supporting Energy Efficiency for Access in West Africa (SEEA-WA) Project.
The SEEA-WA project aims to improve framework conditions for access to energy services by supporting the creation of a regional programme on governance related to energy efficiency and access. Its specific objective is to overcome the technical, financial, legal, institutional and capacity related barriers that hinder the implementation of cost effective energy efficiency measures in the region.

Within the framework of the implementation of the project therefore, the Technical Committee will:

  • Provide guidance on SEEA-WA project activities;
  • Provide suggestions to ECREEE on energy efficiency policies, strategies, programs and projects;
  • Support the development of a regional policy paper on Energy Efficiency
  • Review and provide comments on all reports and documents submitted to the Committee;

from a wide range of specializations, namely: energy engineering, energy efficient buildings, industrial energy efficiency, energy efficiency policy, low-energy equipment, energy and socio-economic issues, market and regulatory instruments such as labelling, standardization and certification.

Members of the committee include: Mr. Agyarko Kofi Adu, Energy Commission of Ghana; Mr Etiosa Uyigue, Community Research and Development Centre (CREDC)/ Nigeria; Mr Aboubaker Chedikh Beye, University of Dakar/Senegal; Ms Rose Mensah-Kutin, ABANTU for Development / ENERGIA; Mr Bénoit Lebot, UNDP, Dakar; Mr Mossou Arcadius Chrysostome, Independent Consultant on Energy Efficiency; Ms Karin Reiß, Austrian Energy Agency (AEA); Mr Edgar Blaustein, International Consultant; Mr Jean- Pierre Ndoutoum, Institut de l’énergie et de l’environnement de la Francophonie (IEPF); Mr Asare Ernest, Energy Foundation; Ms Hélène Sabathié Akonor, Agence de l’Environnement de la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME); and Mrs. Anne Rialhe, Alternatives pour l’Energie, les énergies Renouvelables et l’Environnement (AERE).

The EETC held their first meeting March 27–28, 2012, in Praia, Cape Verde. The meeting, which was chaired by Mr Ernest Asare, Executive Director of the Ghana Energy Foundation reviewed and provided input to the draft ECOWAS Regional Energy Efficiency Policy (EREEP). The EETC also participated in the Regional RE&EE Validation Workshop in Dakar, Senegal which held June 25- 27, 2012.

The SEEA-WA project started on 10th of August 2011 with an implementation period of 40 months. Further information on the project can be found on the project website

ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Flagship Initiatives
Analyses of the ECOWAS situation with respect to energy efficiency, based on stock taking missions to all ECOWAS Member States have highlighted three main conclusions.

  • There is a huge economic and technical potential for energy savings measures. For the electricity sector alone, short term measures could save over 20% (how has this figure been arrived at?)of current consumption, reducing energy bills for users and freeing power for new uses.
  • Since the majority of energy savings measures pay for themselves, the main barriers to improved energy efficiency are institutional, related to policies, capacity, awareness and specific financial mechanisms to capture the economic potential of savings.
  • A regional programme on energy efficiency could have a major impact, supporting the necessary private actions.

These conclusions highlight the ned to devise clear objectives, a strategy and an action plan in the field of energy efficiency. The objectives are based on the potentials identified during the stock taking missions, while the strategy addresses the main barriers to energy efficiency identified in the region: policies; capacity, awareness and financing. Finally, the action plan is based on five flagship initiatives:

  • Initiative on Efficient Lighting to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps, and replace them with high efficiency fluorescent or LED lamps;
  • Achieving High Performance Distribution of Electricity, by reducing commercial and technical losses in electricity distribution systems;
  • Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking to assure that the entire ECOWAS population has access to clean and efficient stoves, with an assured supply of adequate fuels;
  • Standards and Labelling Initiative to create a regional harmonised system of energy standards and energy efficiency labels; and
  • Climate Finance for renewable energy and energy efficiency to mobilise environmental finance instruments to support regional energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

These initiatives have been identified as priorities, given that they are immediately applicable and operational. The “lighting” and “distribution” initiatives, for instance, focuses on specific technologies that offer a big short term potential for savings, and for which strong private and public partners have pledged support. The “Cooking” initiative addresses a vital issue for all households focusing on increasing efficiency and sustainability of biomass based cooking energy. Energy efficiency standards and labels for appliances and energy equipment are powerful tools for market transformation with the overall goal to remove energy intensive products from the market. Climate Finance broadly presents a financial leverage mechanism which would highlight incentives to the ECOWAS Member States to move away from inefficient systems and adopt a more low carbon growth model.

These ECOWAS priority initiatives aim both at realising the short term potential for savings, as well as putting into motion a process that will facilitate medium and long term efforts on the overall ECOWAS EE program.