West Africa Kickstarts $311 Million Regional Energy Sector Expansion Initiative

West Africa Kickstarts $311 Million Regional Energy Sector Expansion Initiative
West Africa Kickstarts $311 Million Regional Energy Sector Expansion Initiative

Africa-Press – Cape verde. The West African countries of Chad, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Togo have kickstarted the implementation of the Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPITE), a collaborative initiative that aims to enhance energy security and consumer access to electricity.

Supported by the World Bank, the $311 million initiative will see the deployment of 106 MW of solar PV and battery energy storage systems as well as the modernization of energy transmission and distribution networks.

The project will enable the expansion of hydropower generators at an additional 41 MW, the provision of up to $20 million in funding to optimize the operations of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) to enhance energy trading across the region while improving knowledge sharing regarding energy market developments between Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

With up to 220 million people currently living without access to electricity, the project aims to significantly lower energy costs, reduce emissions and ensure universal energy access to support economic transformation in West Africa.

“We are paying far more for energy now than we were 18 months ago. Very high and rising energy prices continue to have an adverse impact on other sectors of our economies,” said H.E Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone.

The project will also support other renewable energy projects in West Africa which are aimed at ensuring that the WAPP is supplied with clean and affordable electricity publicly procured from renewables for environmental sustainability and consumer access to affordable energy.

Bernard Hessou, WAPP Director of Planning, Investment Programming and Environmental Safeguards, added that, “RESPITE fully supports the WAPP in achieving its goals of expanding access to competitive and climate-friendly electricity supplies for ECOWAS citizens. It will help create new opportunities for improving the quality of life while providing additional support to the WAPP in the preparation of its priority projects and in the establishment of a regional electricity market across the ECOWAS countries.”

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