Regional organisations advance sustainable energy projects

West African regional organisations are advancing on plans to ensure sustainable energy access for residents of the sub-region. In collaboration with the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), the UEMOA Commission held two meetings aimed at accelerating the operationalisation of the Regional Facility for Sustainable Energy Access (FRAED). FRAED is a fund established by the UEMOA Commission and member states to spur private sector investment in medium-scale projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The first meeting, held on 16 February at the ABREC headquarters in Lomé, brought together national energy agencies and regulatory authorities, UEMOA Commission officials and technical experts to review the operational procedures for the facility. The following day, the facility was presented to more than 60 energy project developers and promoters, who offered recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the facility. Meanwhile, the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) adopted a 2016 work programme that aims to consolidate progress in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Addressing the11th ECREEE board meeting in Praia, ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines Morlaye Bangoura announced plans for a solar corridor for the Sahel, with support from the European Union. The ECREEE board also welcomed new member Ursula Stela, a representative of the German agency for international co-operation. The Austrian Energy Agency (AEA) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) sent observers to the meeting.