The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Clean Energy Solutions Centre (CESC) organized a week-long training workshop on energy audits for commercial and residential buildings.
Held from 7 – 11 December 2015, the workshop brought together over 30 female and male participants from the public and private sector in the ECOWAS region . The first of a series of targeted training activities on energy efficiency, this workshop aimed to lay the foundation for more to come by exposing participants to the technical, economic and policy aspects of developing a sustainable energy audit market in the region.
At the opening, the representative of the Spanish Government, Jaime Puyoles, expressed his delight in the high representation of the private sector at the training. Noting that small to medium scale business owners have a key role to play in the promotion of energy efficiency markets and the use of energy efficient technologies. He commended ECREEE for the work being done in promoting the use of clean energy technologies and to the sustainable development of the region. Anildo Costa, the Director of Energy, Ministry of Energy, Cabo Verde, noted that developing the country’s energy efficiency sector is a necessity if it is to achieve the target of 100% renewable energy penetration by 2020. He mentioned some of the activities being planned towards developing the energy efficiency sector including the development of an Energy Efficiency Directive and guidelines for Buildings. Opening remarks were also made by Bah Saho, Senior Renewable Energy Expert at ECREEE, and Eliza Hotchkiss of NREL.
The course material covered both the theory and practical aspects of building envelops; lighting; water conservation; plug loads and thermal systems. Participants were also introduced to energy modeling tools namely: eQUEST and the Hybrid Optimization Multiple Energy Resources (HOMER). The participants audited the ECREEE secretariat and conducted techno-economic analysis of energy efficiency measures using the NREL Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) excel-based model. Moreover participants were able to see firsthand the application and benefits of energy efficiency in buildings at the Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance (CERMI), where the training was held.
The training also provided a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences, enabling participants from the various countries in the region to learn from each other. Some of the experiences shared include Nigeria’s Energy Efficiency Guidelines for Buildings, developed through the GIZ-led Nigerian Energy Support Program (NEPS), and projects being implemented in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. The importance of research and development, enabling policy and regulatory frameworks, and capacity building rang out as key factors for the development of energy audit markets in the ECOWAS region.
The workshop also led to the establishment of a regional network of energy efficiency experts as well as a network of women engineers and technicians under the Women’s Technical Exchange Programme.