Businesses and investors in the ECOWAS sub-region have been urged to take advantage of emerging green and renewable energy sources and explore sustainable alternative fuel technologies in their business operations. They should optimise waste to energy conversion technologies to improve efficient energy consumption for economic development. Increased efficiency in bioenergy conversion, more efficient solar panels use, improved energy storage capacity and the development of innovative business model will help facilitate sustainable industrial energy use symbiosis. Dr Koni Agboka, Director of West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) based in Lome, Togo, made the call at an International Conference on Circular Economy, Renewable Energies and Green Hydrogen in Africa (ICCERA), with emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goal seven (SDG7) in Kumasi. The conference, which was organised by WASCAL, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, RUFORUM and ICCERA, aimed at generating actionable strategies and policy recommendations for each African nation, guided by the experiences and accomplishments in Ghana. It was also to unite leading minds from academia, industry, government and other stakeholders, to devise a road map that embrace and drives the integration of renewable energies and to realise the potential of green hydrogen in West Africa. The conference was further to help develop strategies and implement plans to combat climate change and protect the environment, while encouraging the public to realise the importance of biomass as a sustainable energy resource. Participants at the conference included Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from Finland, Sierra Leone and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Dr Agboka said the energy sector in Africa faced a lot of challenges and that the circular economy must consider reconnecting waste energy sources in their operational activities. Additionally, using recent advances in circular economy and decarbonisation of energy would help achieve synergies that would best serve the sustainable development goals. Dr Agboka also called for the production and optimized use of green energies from renewable natural resources, such as sunlight, wind, waste, wave, biomass, biofuel and geothermal energy, to achieve results. ‘We need to develop an economy where products and materials are reused, repaired and recycled instead of throwing them away, where circular business models become mainstream,’ adding that, that would help maximise resource efficiency and reduce waste. Dr Bruno Korgo, West Africa Regional Coordinator on Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen, said the conference would help combat climate change and improve livelihoods. He pointed out that renewable energy and green hydrogen had become a top priority and thematic for WASCAL. Therefore, WASCAL and its partners had conducted the H2-Atlas project which indicated that the ECOWAS region had enough renewable energy potential to cover its energy needs and produce competitively green hydrogen. He said WASCAL had also supported the ECOWAS Region in the development of the regional green hydrogen policy which was adopted in Guinea Bissau. This would position the ECOWAS region as the most important green hydrogen provider, while targeting socio-economic growth.
Source: Ghana News Agency