ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency National Action Plans Validated

By Alhagie Sora

The Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the ECOWAS centre for renewable Energy and Energy efficiency (ECREEE) on Friday 20th November 2014 convened a day-long National Baseline Data Report Validation workshop at the paradise suites Hotel.

The development of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency National Action Plans was organised within the framework of sustainable energy for all.

The exercise according to the officials is part of the overall process for the development of NREAP and NEEAP for the Gambia, which takes place at the background of the encouraging advancement in energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency in the ECOWAS region.

The overall target of the regional efficiency policy is to double, by 2020, the annual improvement in energy efficiency, to attain levels comparable to those of world leaders. This means that each year, the amount of energy needed to produce a certain quantity of goods and services will decrease by about 4 percent. The specific target of the Regional policy is to implement financial support instruments (feed in tariffs, among others).

The moderator of the event, Mr. Kemo K. Ceesay, Director of Energy said the workshop is aimed at presenting and officially validating baseline report comprising the data collected for the development of the NREAP and NEEAP with the National stakeholders and gathering feedback from the stakeholders on possible measures, actions and programs to be integrated in the plans.

“Recalling that in July 2013, the ECOWAS Authority of heads of state and Government renewed its commitment to the provision of access to sustainable energy services in West Africa by adopting the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency policy EEEP and the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy EREP, the EEEP and EREP policies, foresee that all fifteen ECOWAS Member states shall develop National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAP) and National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEEAP) by the end of 2014,” said Mr. Kemo K. Ceesay, Director of Energy .

“The purpose of the ECOWAS regional renewable energy policy (EREP) is to ensure increased use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, small-scale hydro and bio energy for grid electricity supply and for the provision of access to energy services in rural areas,” Mr. Ceesay noted.

In his official opening statement on behalf of the minister, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy Mr. Momodou O. Njie, said the availability of a reliable system of energy supply, efficient, affordable and environmentally sound is one of the vital components of the Gambia government’s development agenda which focuses on poverty alleviation and the achievement of millennium development goals, MDGs. He said without widespread access to modern energy services it would be difficult to make necessary value addition to our primary production and modernizing our economy.

With continued fluctuation in global prices, causing serious disruption in the energy supply system of the country, the government of the Gambia had to re-think its energy strategy to look inwards to utilise the indigenous energy resources. This, he said, led the Government to embark on a program to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation as other means to tackle the challenges confronting the energy sector.

Mr. Sambou Kinteh, the consultant to the ministry of Energy and ECREE presented the general overview of the validation; the primary energy supply for 2010, the most recent years, and consumption of fuels for domestic applications for 2010.