Regional Validation Workshop on the use of GIS in the energy sector & A Training Workshop on Hydro Power Resource Mapping

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:00 to Friday, July 29, 2016 - 18:00





ECREEE officially held the validation and training workshop on the use of GIS for energy planning from July 26th - 29th, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal, making it, in what seems an unprecendent move in the region, the first of such workshop to be organized at regional level.

The workshop was implemented under two project titles namely: “Promoting Sustainable Energy Services in West Africa, through the use of Geospatial Technology” (ECOWREX2) and “GIS Mapping of hydro power potentials in all river basins of West Africa”. The former is funded by the European Union under the ACP-EU Science and Technology Programme II (ACP S&T II) and it is coordinated in partnership with the University of Geneva, Noveltis S.A.S, the Energy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Directorate of Energy of Cabo Verde. The latter, which involved the training on hydro power resource assessment, was also held as planned in the ECOWAS Small-Scale Hydro Power Program, which aims to develop small-scale Hydro power sector in West Africa and is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

The event convened experts from the various ECOWAS member states energy directorates and other affiliated organizations in West Africa, GIS experts, energy experts, energy data scientists and hydro power experts from the River Basin Authorities.

The main objectives of the workshop were validation of the outcome of the ECOWREX2 project; dissemination of the project results; presentation of the output of modeling hydro power potentials for all river basins in West African; training on hydro power resource mapping, as well as the use of ECOWREX for promoting sustainable energy development.

The ECOWREX2 project contributes to ongoing efforts towards promoting the use of geospatial technology in West Africa, to help eradicate the information and knowledge barriers posing a major challenge in the energy sector. It improves the ECOWREX GIS framework by developing a complete Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), fully compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards, appropriate for data interoperability, effective data processing, information sharing and knowledge transfer. New data sets on solar and wind power potential maps, energy access maps for non-electrified communities in West Africa, and population and electricity demand maps have been generated. Additionally, a metadata catalogue has been developed to provide standardised information on the geospatial data and to make the maps accesible by other international platforms, which contributes to increased the visibility of the GIS maps. End users can now explore, share and download easily the geospatial data with the improved functionality. A soft launch of the tool took place and it will be available for public viewing by September 2016.

During the event, ECREEE also officially released the new version of the Interactive Country Profile Data Portal. The Data Portal archives over 20,000 data points covering renewable energy and energy efficiency information from 2010 to 2016 for the 15 ECOWAS Member States compared to the previous version which contained a little over 8,000 data points dating information up to 2013. Its extended functionality now permits end users to access information under various topics and indicators; easily embed and share the country profile data portal on partner organization web platforms; download the raw data in various formats for further analysis. The new version is currently available online on the ECOWREX website

The outcomes of the workshop included:

  • Gaining understanding of the project benefits and how ECOWREX can support the member states.
  • Acquiring knowledge on promoting sustainable energy development through the use of geospatial technology.
  • Gaining insight into the approach and methodologies for the development of the online energy access software - Intigis, including its application for energy planning.
  • Gaining knowledge on the use of the new ECOWREX Spatial Data Infrasrructure, its functionalities and the new maps developed.
  • Brainstorming and developing a data and metadata collection strategy for ECOWREX.
  • Sharing experiences on energy and rural electrification planning in the member states.
  • Providing feedback to ECREEE on the proposed indicators and data collection methods in the template for the annual reports on the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Country Action Plans.
  • Acquiring knowledge of hydro power resource mapping and potential, including climate change scenarios.
  • Gaining insight into the project methodology and scientific considerations of the model and how this model can support the member states with the small-scale hydro power development.
  • Acquire knowledge on how to explore and use ECOWREX data.

Contact info on the event:

Mr. Daniel Paco. Contact: dpaco(a)



ECREEE, in cooperation with the Austrian consultants from Pöyry Energy GmbH, finished the GIS hydropower resource mapping and modeling of hydropower potentials of all relevant rivers and tributaries in 14 countries of West Africa. The river network for the whole ECOWAS region, the hydropower potentials, their suitability for different plant sizes, the river profiles and further hydropower relevant data, were computed on the basis of elevation, discharge, precipitation, climatic and topographical data.

Moreover, the study takes into account the scientific climate change prospection for West Africa and computes the future impact of different climate change scenarios on these hydro power potential. The data shall be put online on the observatory for renewable energy (ECOWREX) by November 2016. In addition, a geo-database has been developed to hub all existing operative hydropower plants in West Africa.

On 28 and 29 of July 2016 West African actors from ministries of energy and water and from river basin organizations were trained in Dakar in background, lessons learned and use of the computed hydropower potentials for the region of West Africa.

The GIS Hydropower Ressource Mapping of West Africa rivers and the training in Dakar were funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Spanish Development Cooperation (AECID).

Implementation team (GIS hydropower resource mapping project):

Mr. Hannes Bauer: Responsibility of the ECOWAS Small-Scale Hydropower program at ECREEE, Contact: hbauer(a)

Mr. Daniel Paco: Project officer and GIS expert at ECREEE

Mr. Harald Kling: Hydrologist of GIS Hydro Ressource Mapping West Africa at Poyry Energy GmbH Austria