Delivering sustainable bioenergy services in the ECOWAS region and beyond: the 5th GBEP Bioenergy Week

The Fifth GBEP Bioenergy Week was successfully held in Ghana from 22 to 24 June 2017. Hosted by ECREEE, in cooperation with GBEP, and supported by FAO, UNDP, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Forestry, Water and the Environment, the Austrian and Spanish Cooperation; it gathered 90 participants including representatives from most ECOWAS countries, but also from private sector and civil society organisations.

The event aimed at fostering discussion and exchange of proven experiences and skills to showcase the practicality of sustainable energy services and to support its accelerated implementation in Africa, in particular in the ECOWAS region. It served as an avenue for strengthening cooperation between member states and established institutions for increasing the provision of sustainable energy services.

A special focus was put on bioenergy production from biogas in the region and a SWOT analysis on small-scale biogas was carried out in order to inform the future GBEP Activity Group on Biogas. The need for a holistic approach and the need to take into consideration the local context through feasibility studies were the main conclusions of the analysis. A follow up survey will be sent to all participants to carry out a detailed SWOT analysis of both large- and small-scale biogas value chains, and the results presented at the next GBEP annual meetings in November.

Participants of the event also attended two field visits, the first of which is a liquid waste treatment facility in Jamestown, Accra managed by Sewage Systems Ghana Ltd. The second visit took participants to Ashaiman, near Tema, to visit a 100KW waste energy plant: it is the first of its kind in Ghana to be connected to the national grid and the second in all West Africa.
Among the conclusions of the different sessions of the workshop, the following points emerged:
•    the need to translate the ECOWAS Bioenergy Policy presented at the meeting, into national policies;
•    the need to guarantee provision of feedstock must be balanced by a careful analysis of the competitive use of biomass feedstocks; and
•    the need to foster knowledge and R&D, in order to formulate bankable projects and access the funding opportunities available.

The event stressed to importance of reinforcing collaboration between private and public sector, and carrying out sustainability assessments in order to enhance the potential benefits (and reduce negative impacts) or bioenergy production.

All documents related to the event can be found on the GBEP website


Back to menu of articles