Thursday, July 8, 2010

West Africa: Ecowas Adopts Wade's Solar Energy Initiative

Abuja — The Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS have endorsed an initiative by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal that will enable the region harness its solar energy potentials through the construction of solar power plants that will provide cheap energy as a complementary source for meeting West Africa's energy needs.
The endorsement came after a presentation by Wade to the just-concluded 38th ordinary summit of regional leaders in Sal, Cape Verde in which he cited the abundance of sunshine and possession of the largest desert in the world as justification for West Africa to tap into these virtually free resources to meet its energy needs and ensure they are not wasted.

He had explained that such power plants could be constructed without huge budgetary provisions but through "financial arrangements" to be proposed to regional leaders after on-going studies.

In a "special resolution on solar energy," released after the summit on 2nd July 2010, the Heads of State and Government acknowledged the potential of this resource in a region where fossil fuel remains the prevalent source of generating energy.

It mandated the Senegalese President to pursue the proposed solar power plants project for the region in order to ensure its self-sufficiency in clean and cheap solar energy.

A statement issued by the ECOWAS secretariat noted that the region has one of the lowest energy consumption rates in the world with only 20 per cent of households having access to electricity.

The secretariat said the region had only exploited 16 per cent of its 23,000 MW large scale hydro power potential.

As part of efforts to shore-up support for Wade's initiative, the regional leaders urged each member state to attach technical and financial experts to Wade 'in view of establishing the Commission on solar power that shall operate under his chairmanship and authority.'

Furthermore, they urged member states to facilitate Wade's work by instructing all institutions involved in solar energy in the region to provide him with all the statistical information needed for the successful conclusion of the study.

The ECOWAS Commission and Wade are to work in close collaboration to ensure the success of the venture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails