The United Nations, which supports everything from global climate change policy to unconventional greenhouse gas initiatives, has opened a new center in Praia, the capital of the West African island nation of Cape Verde, to help develop the region's clean energy potential.
The Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), an agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is being run with the support of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Governments of Brazil, Spain, Austria and Cape Verde.
The center’s objectives are to promote regional markets for green power and energy efficiency, formulate policy, build capacity, set-up quality assurance mechanisms, and create the framework for financing.
Yoshiteru Uramoto, Deputy to the UNIDO Director-General, said during the opening ceremony: "Investing in renewable energy systems and introducing energy efficient technologies will contribute to the region’s economic and social development without harming the environment."
Unsustainable traditional biomass, like wood-burning, currently accounts for more than three-quarters of the total energy consumption of the region's poor majority. The region, which has vast underexploited potential for solar, wind, tidal and wave energy, is slowly becoming a magnet for renewable energy investment—particularly in Ghana.
In other news on the continent, Kenya recently received significant funding from the World Bank to beef up the country's largely untapped geothermal capacity.
Image credit: Xandu
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