West Africa nations to phase out incandescent lamps

Government representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have established a regionally coordinated framework to phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020 at the latest. The nations together could save a total of 2.4 terawatt hours of electricity – equivalent to 6.7 percent of total annual energy consumption –  that would be enough to power over 1.2 million households.

The strategy identifies the complete phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020 at the latest, which could save the region an estimated USD220 million per year in energy costs.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Senegal agreed to sponsor all events of efficient lighting initiative, at the request of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in order to rally other ECOWAS member states.

The announcement comes on the heels of a workshop for the development of a regional strategy for energy efficient lighting held from 02 – 03 July 2013 in Dakar, Senegal.

The event was hosted by the ECREEE and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) en.lighten initiative, with support of the Club of National Agencies and Structures in Charge of Rural Electrification (Club-ER).

The workshop raised awareness and built consensus on the various technical options available at regional and international levels for the development of a concrete regional efficient lighting strategy.

Addressing gender issues was also on the agenda, as women are both the proponents and beneficiaries of positive changes in the energy sector.

“The achievement of a permanent and sustainable transition to efficient lighting in ECOWAS countries is dependent on the development and implementation of national and regional efficient lighting strategies with an integrated policy approach, which incorporates global best practices,” said Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE.

“We are pleased to partner with UNEP’s en.lighten initiative in the task of accelerating global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies.”

ECREEE, as the leading organization in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency in West Africa, launched the initiative on energy efficient lighting, as one of its priority programs as part of the ECOWAS Policy on Energy Efficiency adopted in Accra, Ghana in October 2012.

Part of improving access to sustainable energy the use of energy was identified as a fundamental component of achieving the UN Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)” objectives in the ECOWAS region.

The UNEP en.lighten initiative seeks to address the challenges of accelerating a global market transformation to environmentally sustainable lighting technologies by providing technical support for the phase-out of inefficient lighting.

The ECOWAS efficient lighting initiative with en.lighten is part of the overall development goal for West Africa to improve access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services, energy security as well as the reduction of negative impacts on the energy system.

“To achieve a permanent and sustainable transition to energy efficient lighting, regional efficient lighting strategies need to follow an integrated policy approach and incorporate global best practices,” said Gustavo Manez, Project Manager for the en.lighten intiative.

“We are pleased to see that consensus has been reached in the ECOWAS region for pertinent policy aspects such as minimum energy performance standards, supporting policies, monitoring, verification and enforcement activities, and the environmentally sound management of lighting products.”

The meeting in Dakar follows a launch workshop held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in April 2013 attended by delegates from the ECOWAS Ministries of Energy, as well as representatives from standards organizations, and international lighting experts. At the workshop, participants agreed on a roadmap for the development of the regional efficient lighting strategy.