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RECP Workshop on Green Mini-grids in West Africa

RECP Workshop on Green Mini-grids in West Africa

State 

completed

Date 

21 March, 2014

Country 

Benin

Region 

West Africa

Summary

This type of activity was part of the RECP start-up phase and is now being offered under the Service Line SEADS.

Renewable and hybrid energy mini-grids hold significant potential for the African energy sector: not only for increasing energy access, but also by enabling the increased use of renewable energy in the continent, with its benefits for local employment and economic development. Mini-grids are technically and increasingly also economically viable modern energy provision solutions in off-grid areas, and the hybridization of existing fossil-fuel based mini-grids can result in substantial savings – not only for consumers, but also for governments and parastatal utilities.

The EUEI PDF organised a second practitioner workshop aiming at raising awareness for mini-grid applications in West Africa on 21 March 2014 in Cotonou, Benin. The workshop was hosted by the rural energy agency Benin (ABERME).

The workshop objectives included:

  • Share knowledge and experience on mini-grid technologies for applications in Africa
  • Discuss recommendations and tools to improve the policy and regulatory framework for mini-grids
  • Elaborate successful project development processes and operation models for mini-grids

The workshop attracted more than 70 participants from 15 different countries. The workshop was organized on the occasion of the Mini-Grid Policy Toolkit, which is being developed jointly by the EUEI PDF, REN21, and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) in the framework of the RECP.

Following the workshop, the Benin Rural Electrification Agency expressed interest in seeking support for the establishment of a department dedicated to off-grid electrification based on renewable energy. Furthermore, the idea to replicate the project developing thinking on framework conditions for green mini-grids in the SADC region – whose development was supported by EUEI PDF – in ECOWAS, was discussed during the workshop. The event received substantial interest by different actors – African public authorities, development partners, private sector and civil society – and had media coverage in several Beninese newspapers.

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