West African Countries Plan 2 GW Renewable Energy Corridor

Several west African companies are planning partnership over a landmark renewable energy project which will also be a significant step towards interconnectivity in the power sector.

The ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has proposed a 2 GW renewable energy corridor across the west African countries. The project could see contributions from wind, solar and hydro power projects from various countries.

According to media reports, Nigeria has agreed to contribute 1 GW capacity while others are expected to contribute between 200 MW and 500 MW. Contributions are likely to come largely from various sizes of solar power projects.

ECREEE is currently working to identify possible sites for solar power projects and how much various countries can contribute towards the project. After sites for the projects are identified they are expected to be allocated through a common competitive auction.

Several west African countries have already attracted significant renewable energy investment.

Nigeria approved feed-in tariff regulations for renewable energy projects, with electricity distribution companies required to source at least 50% of their total procurement from renewable energy sources.

Several foreign project developers have already announced plans to develop large-scale renewable energy projects in Nigeria. Solius NGPC, Peoples Home Association, and Solar Force Nigeria Limited, all have plans to set up a cumulative solar power capacity of 1 GW. A joint venture company between SkyPower Global and FAS Energy plans to set up 3 GW of utility-scale solar power projects.

Hanergy Solar was reportedly working on a 400 MW solar power project in Ghana. Last year, the President of Ghana announced that the levy on petroleum products will be increased to $0.02 per litre. A part of the revenue raised from this levy will be used to establish the Renewable Energy Fund. Additionally, a levy of $0.02 will be charged on a per kWh basis on electricity transmitted. Revenue from this levy, too, will be used for supporting solar power projects.

Image Credit: Mondo Magic | Public Domain

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