New report sees bright future for West Africa energy
A new report from Energy & Utilities casts light on the vibrant region, opening insights on investment and key sectors, in a region gaining increasing financial and technical sophistication; a primer for Nigeria Energy Expo in September, in Lagos
A new report on West Africa is now out from Informa Energy & Utilities (E&U). It combines a useful overview of each country combined with close looks at four key sectors across the region. As such, it serves as a useful primer for the upcoming Nigeria Energy exposition and leadership summit, occurring 19-21 September, in Lagos, Nigeria.
The United Nations designates 16 countries in the great region of West Africa. They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
For this report, E&U included Cameroon, which borders on the region’s largest country Nigeria.
The new report sees West Africa edging closer to a new energy paradigm that promises to provide affordable power to millions. Multilateral financing will continue to play a critical role in most project development. Yet the region’s own financial sectors are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and important capital accumulation is occurring. There is a growing momentum of new energy projects, and a growing role for renewables in various forms, with indigenous know-how and finance joining foreign investment and expertise.
E&U’s report highlights funding approaches that are being developed which could have a critical impact in some countries. Bilateral and multilateral finance programs are discussed, while the Abidjan-based African Development Bank (AfDB) is seen as a key actor. A helpful summary of programs is provided.
The key sectors covered are power generation, transmission and distribution, critical power (including batteries), and renewable energy.
The largest power projects, thermal and hydro, are discussed, while the rising role of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) for multi-country connections is also considered. The report asserts that the future for utility-scale storage in the region is likely to be based on battery energy storage systems (BESS). It includes discussion of notable renewable on-grid resources that have been developed, and a look to future initiatives for renewables.
What follows are insightful profiles of the West African countries, handy overviews of their power sectors with data on installed capacity for thermal and renewables. These offer helpful overviews to inform discussion at the Nigeria Energy Leadership Summit and on the expo floor at Lagos.
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