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West Africa power pool makes slow progress

Friday, February 20, 2015

Subject

Regional power outlook for West Africa.

Significance

The West African Power Pool (WAPP), institutionalised in 2001, aimed to create a regional power market large enough to attract private investment. Among its 14 member states, WAPP boasts considerable energy resources. Progress has been slow, with chronic power shortages reflecting decades of under-investment in national sectors.

Impacts

  • With the exception of hydroelectricity, renewable energy will likely augment not replace traditional power, eg, coal and gas-based.
  • However, 'off grid' renewable electricity generation and transmission systems may be increasingly used for powering remote locations.
  • Facilities such the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa will need to fund many renewables projects initially for them to be viable.
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