ROGEP 3rd regional conference on accelerating and consolidating the development of standalone solar systems
Access to electricity is undeniably an important factor in the development of communities and by extension, countries. Whereas some countries have improved in the access to energy, the broader western African region including the Sahel, face interrelated challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change mitigation simultaneously. Of the 395 million inhabitants of the ECOWAS and Sahel regions, approximately 244 million have no access to electricity. In most countries, the access is limited and substantially conﬁned to the urban areas. Electricity shortages in urban areas and lack of access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services in rural areas are interrelated with a variety of economic, social, environmental and political challenges.
For the above reasons and others, the third in the series of regional conferences on off grid solar electrification is to be organized by The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The conference will be held on July 18th and 19th 2019 in Lomé, Togo, under the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) an initiative of ECREEE with funding from the World Bank Group and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). ECREEE in 2017 and 2018 organised similar conference in Dakar and Accra respectively by bringing together stakeholders in the sector where the proposed ROGEP was presented with views and suggestions collated to define the concept notes.
This year conference is coming on the back of the recent approval of ROGEP by the World Bank and CTF to cover the 15 ECOWAS countries plus Chad, Cameroon, Mauritania and Central Africa Republic. ROGEP objective is to improve the access to energy in these countries by supporting the stakeholders in the off grid sector with Technical Assistance and Finance. The project is to be implemented by ECREEE and West Africa Development Bank (BOAD).
The third conference has a theme “strengthening partnerships for an accelerated promotion of standalone solar systems in West Africa and Sahel”. Once again, the conference is expected to attract a wide range of stakeholders such as policy makers, private sector, academia, civil society, financial institutions, development organisations, investors and the consumers to deliberate on the theme and how ROGEP will be implemented to deliver the requisite impact in the countries.
During the conference various topics on the off grid sector in the region will be presented by ECREEE, BOAD, the World Bank, CTF and Consultants who have been connected with the project. The highlights of a Market Assessment conducted during the preparation of the project will be presented and be deliberated upon. There will be sessions for panelist to share their insights on the sector, challenges and developments as well as the role of finance in improving the access to energy by the consumer. Other subject areas such as Productive Uses, Public Institution Electrification the role of the private and public sector will be presented by various speakers.
In furtherance to partnerships created under ROGEP with various stakeholders it is expected that during the conference some of these will be formalized and strengthened to support promotion of off grid solar systems across the countries and improve the lives of the many who have no access to energy. Finally, the conference will provide more information on the implementation plan of ROGEP, the next steps and the role of the stakeholders in the project. It should be added that this conference will be preceded by a regional meeting of standard bodies for the adoption of standards from 16 to 17 July, in the framework of ROGEP and AGOSEREE-OA projects.