Ivie Ehanmo, the founder of Electricity Lawyer, an advocacy and legal group, has revealed that investment in Africa’s regional electricity grid is a cost-effective way of connecting excess capacity in one country or region with (peak) demand in another country.
The legal and policy transformation expert in an article seen by EnergyDay on Wednesday, also disclosed that the integrating electricity grid in the region will increase efficiency gains and high standards of service, and further guarantee regional energy security.
She said, “With an Africa-wide investment deficit of over $800 billion, based on McKinsey estimates, it is believed that regional grid integration has a role to play to sidestep key constraints individual countries are saddled with such as human capital, technology, finance, etc.
“It has been estimated that in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) alone, achieving electrification for all would require at least $27 to $31 billion per year by 2030.
“Regional integration may reduce electricity supply costs and improve reliability, as it is a cost-effective way of connecting excess capacity in one country or region with (peak) demand in another. It is also anticipated to increase efficiency gains and high standards of service, in addition to increased competition, alongside regional energy security.
“Several initiatives spurring regional grid integration on the African continent are underway, particularly from a clean energy standpoint in the wave of the energy transition; one such initiative is the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC).
“The ACEC is a regional initiative spearheaded by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to accelerate the development of renewable energy potential and cross-border trade of renewable power within power pools in Africa, resulting in benefits such as resource efficiency and economies of scale.
“The success of such an initiative is dependent on several considerations, a key one being the need to embed clean energy corridors in national renewable energy and climate agendas.” the policy analyst said.
Ivie further noted that while the regional power pools thus exist, the lack of trust among pool members alongside the lack of investment in the generation and transmission of electricity within the countries of the pool members amongst other are factors that have spurred the motivation for a deeper level of regional integration.
She further said, “Nevertheless, for such regional integration to be recorded as a success story, national governments have to align their legal, policy, and regulatory frameworks with regional requirements, there is a need for cooperation and coordination among stakeholders, and proper forecasting for system integration is key.
The founder of Electricity lawyer – a data-driven research, legal and regulatory service provider – however noted that there may be a need for the harmonisation of laws, policies, rules, and regulations, whilst addressing attendant issues relating to choice of law(s) and conflict of laws.