WAPP News | West African Power Pool Maps
West African Power Pool: Planning and Prospects for Renewable Energy
By International Renewable Energy Agency, June 2013 www. irena.org
With the energy systems of many African countries dominated by fossil-fuel sources that are vulnerable to global price volatility, regional and intra-continental power systems with high shares of renewable energy can provide least-cost option to support continued economic growth and address the continent’s acute energy access problem. Unlocking Africa’s huge renewable energy potential could help to take many people out of poverty, while ensuring the uptake of sustainable technologies for the continent’s long-term development.
IRENA’s report, West African Power Pool: Planning and Prospects for Renewable Energy, examines a “renewable scenario” based on a modeling tool developed by IRENA and tested with assistance from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Initial results from the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Planning (EREP) model for continental ECOWAS countries show that the share of renewable technologies in the region could increase from the current 22% of electricity generation to as much as 52% in 2030, provided that the cost of these technologies continues to fall and fossil fuel prices continue to rise. In this scenario, nearly half of the envisaged capacity additions between 2010 and 2030 would be with renewable technologies.
Analysis using EREP – along with a similar model developed for Southern Africa – can provide valuable input for regional dialogue and energy projects such as the East and Southern Africa Clean Energy Corridor and the Program for Infrastructure and Development in Africa (PIDA). IRENA, together with partner organizations, has started plans to set up capacity building and development support for energy system modeling and planning for greater integration of renewables in Africa. IRENA is also completing a similar model and study for East Africa and intends to extend this work to Central and North Africa.
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