Nigeria and other government representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have successfully established a regionally-coordinated framework to transition to energy efficient lighting. The strategy identifies the complete phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020, the latest. The Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Senegal agreed to sponsor all events of efficient lighting initiative, at the request of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in order to rally other ECOWAS member states.
The announcement comes on the heels of a workshop for the development of a regional strategy for Energy Efficient lighting held from July 2-3, 2013 in Dakar, Senegal, hosted by the ECREEE and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) en.lighten initiative, with support of the Club of National Agencies and Structures in Charge of Rural Electrification (Club-ER).
The workshop raised awareness and built consensus on the various technical options available at regional and international levels for the development of a concrete regional efficient lighting strategy. Addressing gender issues was also on the agenda, as women are both the proponents and beneficiaries of positive changes in the energy sector.
“The achievement of a permanent and sustainable transition to efficient lighting in ECOWAS countries is dependent on the development and implementation of national and regional efficient lighting strategies with an integrated policy approach, which incorporates global best practices,” said Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE. “We are pleased to partner with UNEP’s en.lighten initiative in the task of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies.”
A transition away from general service incandescent lamps to more efficient lighting would save the region an estimated $220 million each year in energy costs. West African nations together could save a total of 2.4 terawatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent 6.7 percent of the total yearly energy consumption. The savings would be enough to power over 1.2 million households.
ECREEE, as the leading organisation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency in West Africa, launched the initiative on energy efficient lighting, as one of its priority programs as part of the ECOWAS Policy on Energy Efficiency adopted in Accra, Ghana in October 2012. The use of energy was identified as a fundamental component of achieving the UN Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)” objectives in the ECOWAS region.
The UNEP en lighten initiative seeks to address the challenges of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by providing technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting. The ECOWAS efficient lighting initiative with en.lighten is part of the overall development goal for West Africa to improve access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security as well as the reduction of negative impacts on the energy system.
“To achieve a permanent and sustainable transition to energy efficient lighting, regional efficient lighting strategies need to follow an integrated policy approach and incorporate global best practices,” said Gustavo Manez, Project Manager for the en.lighten intiative. “We are pleased to see that consensus has been reached in the ECOWAS region for pertinent policy aspects such as minimum energy performance standards, supporting policies, monitoring, verification and enforcement activities, and the environmentally sound management of lighting products.”
The meeting in Dakar follows a launch workshop held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in April of this year, attended by delegates from the ECOWAS Ministries of Energy as well as representatives from standards organizations, and international lighting experts. Here, participants agreed on a roadmap for the development of the regional efficient lighting strategy.
The en.lighten initiative was established to accelerate global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by developing a coordinated global strategy and providing technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting. It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with leading global lighting manufacturers, Philips and OSRAM, and the National Lighting Test Center (China).
Few actions could reduce carbon emissions as inexpensively and easily as the phase-out of inefficient lighting, making it one of the most effective and economically advantageous ways to mitigate climate change. The initiative has set a target date of 2016 for the global phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps.
ECREEE’s mandate is aligned with the broader strategic goals of ECOWAS Vision 2020. It seeks to realise directly two of the components of this vision, namely: “A region that anchors its development on sustainable development, including agricultural and mineral resource development strategy, and on planned agricultural and industrial strategies; a region that develops its infrastructure and makes services accessible to its citizens and enterprises.”; and “A region that conserves its environment and resources, promotes modes of equitable and sustainable development in economic, social and environmental fields; a region which brings its contribution to bear on resolution of the common problems and challenges confronting the planet.”
ECREEE is assisting the 15 ECOWAS member states in the development, adoption and implementation of national renewable energy; energy efficiency policies; and targets, regulatory frameworks, standards, as well as incentives and financial mechanisms.