A regional forum on the ECOWAS Solar Energy Initiative (ESEI), and the wide range of opportunities and challenges expected to grow from it, will be held at the Hotel Meridian President in Dakar (Senegal) 18-21 October.
According to the event’s organizers, the forum will officially launch the ECOWAS Solar Energy Initiative, inaugurate the ECOWAS Solar Commission, and adopt a road map for large-scale deployment of solar energy in West Africa.
Those wishing to attend are being urged to register by Tuesday, 12 October.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of 16 West African countries founded in May 1975. Its mission is to promote economic integration.
Earlier this year the group endorsed a proposal by President Abdoulaya Wade of Senegal to harness the region’s solar energy potential. Under the plan outlined by Wade, the member nations will collaborate on the construction of power plants they believe in time will provide an inexpensive, compliment to the fossil fuels that currently power the region.
Wade made his pitch for a solar future in July, during a summit of regional leaders held in Sal, Cape Verde. During his presentation, he cited the region’s abundance of sunshine and possession of the largest desert in the world as the rationale for moving West Africa in the direction of energy self-sufficiency.
Next week’s forum will look at solar heating for industrial processes, solar energy for industrial applications and solar cooling as a feasible option, where applicable.
Other topics on the agenda include solar energy applications in various sectors and services in urban and rural areas, obstacles and barriers for the solar deployment (including financial, economic, legal, institutional, knowledge and capacity gaps), and possibilities for technology and knowledge transfer.