IRENA wants to improve West African grids for renewables


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has published a request for proposal to seek consultants to draw up a program to strengthen power grid infrastructure in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, to enable stronger penetration of renewables.

The consultants selected will have to work with utilities, grid operators and national regulators of ECOWAS member countries as well as the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The specialists will also have to identify solutions to improve power supply while enabling a large increase in wind and solar power generation capacities. “At the same time, training staff of regional training centers should be enabled to continue and upscale capacity building activities on the same issue, on a regular basis,” stated IRENA in its tender document.

Interested consultants have until August 31 to submit bids.

A week earlier, ECREEE published a request for expressions of interest from consultants to help with the expansion of the West African Clean Energy Corridor program and its institutional implementation framework.

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The United States Agency for International Development and the German Development Agency are supporting that tender.

The ECOWAS region has only 16 GW of power generation capacity, according to IRENA figures, of which 32% comes from hydroelectricity and 68% thermal power. That generation capacity can meet only 37% of the area’s demand. IRENA has stated, only 42% of the population of the ECOWAS region has “access to electricity, concentrated in urban areas, which drops down to single digits in rural areas.”

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