IRENA-ECREEE Energy Planning Capacity-Building Programme: Training 2

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) held a second training course in Dakar to look more closely at SPLAT-W, the System Planning Test model for the West African power system.

The two weeks of training involved the development of renewable energy scenarios, analysis and comparison of scenarios, and presentations and documentation of results from the model. At the end of the training and working sessions, participants submitted draft reports on the energy prospects for their respective countries, as indicated by model-based quantitative scenario analysis. the group, representing 10 West African countries, gained robust knowledge in energy planning, and fluency in the use of the SPLAT-W model for policy scenario development.

This second face-to-face training session came as part of six-month capacity-development programme organised by IRENA and ECREEE in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The programme began in October 2015.

SPLAT-W allows national energy planners to assess the future energy mix from economic, technical and environmental perspectives. The tool was developed by IRENA, building on the IAEA’s MESSAGE software.

The IAEA Planning and Economic Studies Section provided technical expertise in the use of MESSAGE, while the UNFCCC Sustainable Development Management Programme provided complementary training sessions on access to carbon finance, particularly via the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and grid emission-factor calculation methodology.

The training aims to build and enhance capacity for long-term energy planning in ten countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS): Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The participants are experts from the energy-planning offices at ministries, electric utilities and specialised agencies in those countries.

Through the courses (one on-line and two face-to-face), country teams have developed scenarios describing cost-optimised integration of renewable energy into the power sector. These scenarios can in turn guide national renewable energy policies in line with the ECOWAS Regional Renewable Energy Policy adopted in 2013. 

ECREEE and IRENA proposed to continue working with the course participants to develop regionally harmonised scenarios, taking account of each country’s reality.

The UNFCCC Secretariat, through its Regional Collaboration Center in Lomé, Togo, promised to keep working with West African countries on standardised baselines to calculate grid emission factors (GEF). It said it would assist designated national authorities in the adoption of such baselines for the West Africa Power Pool and Cabo Verde, and would discuss the development of new baselines with the authorities of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

For the agenda and lecture materials, click here

For a description of the first course in Dakar, click here.

The training programme follows an earlier IRENA-ECREEE workshop, Renewable Energy Planning for the West African Power Pool, held in Abijan, Ivory Coast, in December 2012.