Energy Use: Electricity System in West Africa and Climate Change Impact

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Abiodun Suleiman Momodu


This article investigates a low carbon pathway, the theoretical frame for understanding the trade-offs between economic development and climate change. An already developed model - Electricity Planning-Low Carbon Development (EP-LCD) - was adapted and modified to examine the nonlinear relationship between generation adequacy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction for better targeted strategic regional intervention on climate change. Two broad scenarios - Base and LCD Option - were tested for the West African Power Pool (WAPP). The cost impact of increasing generation capacity in the LCD Option was estimated at US$1.54 trillion over a 50 year period. Achieving the goal of low carbon pathway would be largely influenced by government decision. Four strategies, in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution in Paris Agreement, were recommended. These are: a) enforced improved efficient electricity generation through increased energy efficiency that should result in increased capacity factor; b) decreased energy intensity of economic activities to result in reduced emission factor in existing plants; c) attract new investment through low tax or tax exemption to reduce cost of constructing power plants for the benefit of base-load plants; and d) subsidized cost of low-carbon fuels in the short run to benefit intermediate load plants and allow for the ramping up of low-/no-carbon fuel generation capacity. These are recommended considering the region’s specific economical and political conditions where funds are tremendously difficult to raise. Implementing these recommendations will allow the electric power industry in West Africa to contribute to achieving sustainable development path.

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Author Biography

Abiodun Suleiman Momodu, Obafemi Awolowo University

Abiodun holds a Ph.D. in Technology Management with specialisation in Energy Planning and System Modelling. He holds a Master of Science in Technology Management with focus on environmental management. He concluded a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2015 awarded through the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the African Academy of Sciences at The Energy Center, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Energy Management and Technology, Centre for Energy Research and Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He was the lead researcher in the study carried out on Nigeria Independent Power Producer (IPP) Experiences. His lines of research included Energy Planning,  Strategic Management, Energy and System Modelling, Renewable Energy, Policy Analysis, Gender and Entrepreneurship.  He has carried out studies related to bio-energy and environmental interactions, with emphasis on the forestry sector, as it affects greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.  He had served as Technical Assistant to the Special Advisor to the President on Energy Matters. He is a member of Nigerian Association of Energy Economics and an affiliate member of International Association of Energy Economics.