Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centre Opens in West Africa

6 July 2010: A new regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) opened in Praia, Cape Verde, on 6 July. The Centre is supported by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Governments of Austria, Cape Verde and Spain, as well as through a special partnership between Brazil and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

ECREEE, a specialized agency of ECOWAS, will help develop renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in West Africa. It will also provide support in policy and capacity development and quality assurance in designing financing mechanisms, and in implementing demonstration projects with potential for regional scaling-up. In addition, UNIDO has developed an energy programme for 18 countries in West Africa, including all ECOWAS member States, which aims to help focus on the energy access agenda and energy efficiency in key sectors of the economy. ECREEE will become the main implementing agency of this US$150 million programme, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Yoshiteru Uramoto, Deputy to UNIDO Director-General, highlighted that investment in renewable energy systems and introducing energy efficient technologies will contribute to the region's economic and social development without harming the environment. He noted that the creation of ECREEE is a central milestone in efforts to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and services in the region. [UNIDO Press Release] [ECREEE Website]