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Regional Off-Grid Electrification Access Project (ROGEAP) Overview

06 December 2017 , ROGEP (Regional Off-Grid Electrificaiton Project)

The Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) – previously known as the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) – aims to increase access to sustainable electricity services in the fifteen ECOWAS member countries and four additional countries (namely Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania and Central African Republic) for households, businesses, and in some instances public health and education facilities in a pilot program.

While Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from lack of access to reliable electricity services, this deficit is more pronounced in the Western and Central Africa region, particularly in countries such as the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone. In addition, household access to electricity varies considerably between urban and rural areas. Out of a population of 406 million people in the 19 project countries, it is estimated that 208 million inhabitants have no access to electricity, about 70 percent of whom live in rural areas. Based on the off-grid market assessment of 2018, the average rural electrification rate stood around 18 percent, while that of eight countries—Burkina Faso, Chad, the CAR, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, and Niger—is less than 5 percent.  Improving energy access, especially for marginalized and disadvantaged groups and lagging regions is essential in achieving sustainable and inclusive development and poverty reduction.

Stand-alone solar systems have a large market potential in Western and Central Africa. Currently, less than 3 percent of the region is served by stand-alone solar systems, equivalent to roughly 5 million consumers.  The market assessment carried out in 2018 identified that about 31 million households could be electrified using stand-alone solar systems in Western and Central Africa. The potential value of the household solar market is estimated to be about US$6.6 billion. The assessment further identified about 800,000 educational and healthcare facilities that could be electrified with stand-alone solar systems with an investment estimate of US$1.5 billion. Moreover, the share of the rural population served by decentralized renewable energy sources such as mini-grids and stand-alone systems is expected to reach 22 percent by 2020 and 25 percent by 2030.

Uptake of stand-alone solar systems in Western and Central Africa faces several barriers from the supply side. These barriers stem from the perception that the Western and Central African market is fragmented, implying that many countries have small, dispersed population; lack of appropriate policy and regulatory environments; absence of supporting ecosystems for the solar industry; poor access to finance; and lack of clear information on the demand and customer segments. Moreover, the region has yet to significantly benefit from the innovative solar photo voltaic (PV) technologies and disruptive business models, such as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), compared to East Africa.

Promoting electrification using stand-alone solar systems requires a harmonized regional approach. This entails establishing a business-friendly ecosystem to attract private sector investments to provide electricity to people without grid connection including female headed households, in a decentralized manner. The existing projects financed by the World Bank in the Africa region with stand-alone solar components have adopted a market-based approach, implemented by the private sector, to provide access to electricity to the people. Successful lessons from existing Lighting Africa supported projects will be scaled up under ROGEAP to extend electricity to households and commercial enterprises following a market based model.

The project has two main components: Component 1 focuses on developing a regional market by establishing enabling business environment and providing technical and financial capacity building support to solar entrepreneurs in 19 project countries. Component 2 focuses on facilitating access to finance for standalone solar system businesses through a line of credit and establishing a guarantee facility to eligible CFIs located in eight West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member countries. ECOWAS will be the implementing agency for Component 1, while the West African Development Bank (Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement or BOAD) will be the implementing agency for Component 2.

 

 

 

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