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The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is a specialized Centre of Excellence of the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) with a public mandate to promote regional renewable energy and energy efficiency markets. It was created by the ECOWAS member states at the background of a severe energy crisis in the region. In 2008 the 61st Session of ECOWAS Council of Ministers adopted the regulation C/REG.23/11/08 and gave the Centre a legal basis. It commenced operation in 2010 with support of ECOWAS, the Governments of Austria and Spain and key technical assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The centre acts as an independent body but within the legal, administrative and financial framework of ECOWAS.
Objectives, Outcomes, Activities and Services
The overall objective of the Centre is to contribute to the sustainable economic, social and environmental development of West Africa by improving access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security and reduction of energy related GHG emissions and climate change impacts on the energy system. The specific objective of ECREEE is to create favourable framework conditions for regional RE&EE markets by supporting activities directed to mitigate existing technology, financial, economic, business, legal, policy, institutional, knowledge and capacity related barriers.
The Centre executes and supports activities, programs and projects in the scope of the five areas:
- Tailored policy, legal and regulatory frameworks
- Capacity development and training
- Knowledge management, awareness raising, advocacy and networks
- Business and Investment Promotion
ECREEE provides the following services to different clients and target groups:
- Develop and implement a coherent regional RE&EE policy framework of ECOWAS and facilitate its implementation on national levels;
- Develop and execute regional programs and projects with other partners and mobilize funding;
- Operate as key entry point for the implementation of international funding to mitigate climate change in the energy sector (e.g. UN, GEF, IBRD);
- Provide co-funding for demand-driven programs and projects executed by the private and public sector or civil society in the region (e.g. call for proposals and tenders);
- Provide a framework for capacity building activities and strengthens networks between research and training institutions as well as organize train-the-trainers workshops;
- Update and provide RE&EE information and data for investors;
- Think tank, lobbying agent and advisory platform for RE&EE in West Africa;
- Networking and co-organization of conferences, forums and workshops;
- Facilitate north-south and south-south cooperation for knowledge and technology transfer;
Scope of Intervention
The geographic scope of intervention of the Centre is defined as follows. ECREEE (...):
- Supports and executes RE&EE activities and projects which cover one or more ECOWAS countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
- Focuses primarily on activities and projects with regional impact or national projects which demonstrate high potential for scaling-up or regional replication.
- Works in urban as well as peri-urban and rural areas. Due to the high relevance of decentralized RE&EE technologies and services for rural areas the Centre will run a special rural energy program.
The Centre promotes the following energy technologies/solutions:
- All appropriate renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and solutions, including also partly renewable energy based hybrid systems and mini-grids.
- Small scale hydro power projects usually with a maximum capacity of 30 MW.
- Biofuel projects which prove to be sustainable.
- Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cooking projects are eligible due to their high relevance for low-income population groups.
Alignment with Key Policies
ECREEE works towards the achievement of the objectives of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy and Energy Efficiency Policy which were adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers of Energy during the ECOWAS High Level Energy Forum, held from 29 to 31 October 2012 in Accra, Ghana. Moreover, the activities of ECREEE contribute to (...)
- The objectives of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL). The initiative aims at the achievement of three interlinked targets by 2030: universal access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services; doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
- The WAPP Master Plan Scenario which aims at doubling the regional electric generation capacity by 2025 (additional 10.000 MW) primarily through large hydro and gas.
- The ECOWAS White Paper on energy access foresees that at least 20% of new investments rural electrification should originate from locally available renewable resources.
Institutional Structure of the Centre
The institutional structure of the Centre includes:
- the Secretariat based in Praia, Cape Verde
- the Executive Board (EB)
- the Technical Committee (TC)
- the National Focal Institutions (NFIs) in the 15 ECOWAS countries
The ECREEE Secretariat is based in the capital of Praia, Cape Verde, and operates in all three ECOWAS languages (English, French, Portuguese). It operates with a small multinational team of West African and international full-time staff. The Secretariat is headed by the Executive Director, Mr. Mahama Kappiah, former Head of the ECOWAS Energy Division for Energy Access and Renewable Energy. The Secretariat implements the activities and elaborates the annual work plans and status reports and presents the documents for review and approval to the Technical Committee and Executive Board. ECREEE has established a network of National Focal Institutions (NFIs) which interlinks the Secretariat with all ECOWAS Member States. The activities of the Centre are executed in cooperation with the NFIs or other entities of the public and private sector. The Secretariat implements the activities and elaborates the annual work plans and status reports and presents the documents for review and approval to the Technical Committee and Executive Board.
The Centre is governed by an Executive Board (EB) and a Technical Committee (TC) which meets usually twice a year. The EB is the highest decision making body which provides strategic guidance and approves the annual work plans, progress reports and financial statements of the Centre. The technical guidance is provided by the Technical Committee (TC). The TC has the role of reviewing major technical documents and reports for submission to the EB. If necessary the TC reviews projects to be funded by ECREEE resources and is recommending their approval by the EB.