Promoting National Policies and Incentive Schemes in ECOWAS member states


The ECOWAS center for renewable energy and Energy Efficiency and the International renewable energy Agency IRENA jointly organize a two week training workshop for West African policy makers on promoting national policies and incentive schemes in ECOWAS member states in Accra, Ghana from the 9th of to the 20th of September.

The workshop was attended by representatives from the 15 ECOWAS countries and participants were drawn from the ministries of energy, ministries of environment, the national utilities, and other regional regulatory institutions. The workshop was part of the joint ECREEE–IRENA initiative- Promoting a Sustainable Market for PV Systems in the ECOWAS Region (PROSPER). The PROSPER initiative, aims to support West African countries to create favorable frameworks for renewable energy market development with a focus on capacity building.

The workshop focused on enhancing the understanding of policy makers on the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energies, and also showcased the viability of RE technologies with a focus on Photovoltaic systems. Other objectives of the workshop was to Provide an overview on available policies and regulatory mechanisms that promote on- and off-grid electricity generation through PV systems including implications on public budgets to policy makers, regulators and utilities and to Increase the understanding of regulators in the determination of viable electricity tariffs for PV projects.

In addition, the training workshops sort to prepare participating countries for the development and implementation of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans – NREAPS. The NREAPs are National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) which ECOWAS countries need to adopt by 2014, to contribute to the achievement of the regional ECOWAS targets by 2020 and 2030.

Participants expressed their satisfaction with the content of the workshop stating that, such training will better equip them with the knowledge to help improve renewable energy penetration in their respective countries. Concluding on the presentations of the workshop, Kudakwashe Ndhlukula program Coordinator of PROSPER at IRENA believes that the workshop has added  value and that he hopes to see increasing renewable energy projects and associated benefits in the region.