West Africa to gain 2GW courtesy of ‘clean energy corridor’
West Africa is set to acquire two gigawatts (GW) of power in years to come thanks to the proposed construction of a ‘clean energy corridor’ in the region.
Plans were announced at the Solar and Off-Grid Renewables West Africa conference in Accra, Ghana last month.
Mahamma Kappiah, the Executive Director of the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), confirmed that the corridor would contain a number of 10 to 15 megawatt solar plants, as well as additional hydroelectric and wind-powered features.
ECREEE is currently in the process of identifying how the various renewable energy projects and technologies will be divided among ECOWAS member states.
In an interview with PV Tech, Kappiah said: “In the 2GW, we have different contributions from each country. Nigeria wants to take 1GW of it, the rest is shared among other countries, some with 200MW and some 500MW.
“We are going to auction all the projects under a common system.”
He anticipates that many project details – including costs, specific locations and plans for integration with existing infrastructure – will be confirmed by the end of this year.
Once completed, the clean energy corridor will significantly increase the solar PV capacity of West Africa, which currently stands at just 33MW.
Read the April 2016 issue of Energy Digital magazine
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.