A high-level delegation from ECOWAS recently ended its mission to Senegal where it expressed its readiness to begin the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market.
Members of the delegation, led by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Sédiko Douka, included the Chairman of ERERA, Professor Honoré Bogler, Secretary General of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Apollinaire Siengui Ki, Systems Operations Manager of WAPP, Honoré Sanou, as well as ERERA’s Regulatory Council Member, Aly Mar Ndiaye.
The delegation met the chairman and staff of Senegal’s national electricity regulator (CRSE), leadership of Senegal’s national electricity operator- SENELEC and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
Similarly, it held talks with the heads of The Gambia River Basin Development Organization (OMVG), which members are The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Senegal, and the Senegal River Basin Development Organization (OMVS), comprising Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.
Members of the delegation also made presentations at an international conference on ‘Energy for Development in Africa’ in Dakar on 3 May 2018.
Commissioner Douka explained the rationale behind the development and implementation of ECOWAS’ policies on energy, stressing the need to harness the vast energy resources in the region and provide citizens access to energy with its attendant benefits for the improvement in the living standards of the people.
ERERA, WAPP and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) based in Praia, Cape Verde, are some of ECOWAS’ institutions created to tackle the energy challenge in West Africa.
Professor Bogler explained at the various meetings that ERERA has met the conditions necessary for the launch of the market, which was designed in three phases.
The first phase was transitional and was expected to end in 2020 with the commencement of the second phase.
According to him, ERERA has, among other documents critical to the launch of the market, approved market rules, a transmission tariff methodology and model cross-border standard contracts for the use of regional transmission networks.
The first phase of the market is contingent on the commissioning of most of the regional transmission infrastructure.
WAPP’s Secretary General, Apollinaire Ki, stated that his institution was in charge of market operator functions through its Information and Coordination Centre (ICC) based in Calavi, near Cotonou in Benin.
The ICC is crucial to competitive trade in electricity.
Mr Ki explained that besides the competitive trade awaited in the second phase, the regional electricity market rules also allow, among others, the continued bilateral agreements on cross-border electricity sales between participating entities with direct payments between parties.
While WAPP is responsible for developing and implementing the regional power market and for coordinating related activities, ERERA is to regulate cross-border electricity trading, create an appropriate regulatory and economic environment for the development of the market, as well as monitor its operations.
The delegation will visit Guinea Bissau and The Gambia in the following days.
It had earlier visited Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo.