Promoting Sustainable Energy Access through the use of geospatial technologies in West Africa

The lack of data and planning tool continue to pose a major challenge towards the development of the energy sector in West Africa. Reliable information about the region and planning tools are not readily available or underdeveloped. As a policy response, ECREEE in 2012, launched the ECOWAS observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOWREX). Considering the improvement in technology for data access and sharing, the need for data standardization and improvement in energy resources and potential mapping, ECREEE is taking further steps towards restructuring and improving the ECOWREX Geographic Information System (GIS).

In partnership with the University of Geneva, Noveltis S.A.S, the Energy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Directorate of Energy, Cape Verde, ECREEE is currently executing a project titled “ECOWREX 2” with the theme “Promoting Sustainable Energy Access through the use of geospatial technologies in West Africa”. It is funded by the European Union (for a total Grant of EURO 927,204.47) under the ACP-EU Science and Technology Programme II (ACP S&T II, GRANT FED/2013/330-248) which generally, aims to contribute towards building and strengthening capacities in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation in the ACP countries.

Specifically, ECOWREX 2 seeks to improve the ECOWREX GIS (available at:, by building a complete Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and adding new resource maps of energy access, green power potential/power consumption, all focused on increasing investment in West Africa. The output will be fully compliant with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards, thereby aiding data interoperability, effective data processing, sharing and knowledge transfer.

The major outputs of the project includes:

  1. An improved web-based map framework with improved functionalities to enable easy and reliable sharing and transfer of data.
  2. Enhanced solar and wind maps with improved temporal and spatial resolutions necessary for planning.
  3. A map of ratio between power consumption and green power production potential.
  4. Energy access map based on the “GEAR GIS toolkit” model developed by the KNUST Energy Centre, for Ghana.
  5. Increased knowledge and awareness on the use of geospatial technology, including data and metadata collection standards in West Africa.