By Omonu YG Nelson
Abuja, Nigeria – In a significant move towards establishing a regional electricity market (REM) within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ECOWAS Parliament has unanimously approved three draft Community Acts aimed at developing a legal and institutional framework for the REM. The Acts, which were approved during the ongoing Parliament’s Second Ordinary Session
In a significant step towards establishing a regional electricity market (REM) within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the ECOWAS Parliament has approved three draft Community Acts aimed at developing a legal and institutional framework for the REM.
The Acts, which were unanimously approved during the ongoing Parliament’s Second Ordinary Session, are: Draft Regulation on ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market Levy: This Act establishes a mechanism for financing the activities of the ECOWAS Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), the body responsible for regulating the REM. The levy will be applied to all electricity transactions within the REM.
The second is the Draft Regulation on the Surveillance of ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market: This Act establishes a framework for monitoring the REM to ensure fair and efficient operation. The Act outlines the roles and responsibilities of market participants in the surveillance process and sets out rules for investigating and penalizing market manipulation and insider trading.
The third Act is Draft Directive on the Harmonisation of Criteria for the Granting of Licences and Authorisations to Participate in the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market: This Directive establishes harmonized criteria for granting licenses and authorizations to participate in the REM. This will help to create a level playing field for all REM participants and ensure that only qualified entities are able to participate in the market.
The REM is expected to bring a number of benefits to ECOWAS member states, including increased access to electricity, lower electricity prices, and improved reliability of electricity supply.
The Chair of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Committee on Energy and Mines, Hon. Fougou Boukar, opined that, “The approval of these draft Community Acts is a major milestone in the development of the REM and has the potential to transform the energy sector in ECOWAS and bring significant benefits to our citizens.”
In the same vein, Chair of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Committee on Industry and Private Sector, Hon. Mamadou Sako, explained that, “The REM will help to reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels and promote the use of renewable energy sources.” He also said, “the REM will contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy future for ECOWAS.”
The draft Community Acts will now be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers for approval. If approved by the Council, the Acts will become law and will pave the way for the full implementation of the REM.
The ECOWAS region is currently characterized by fragmented electricity markets, with limited cross-border trade in electricity. This has led to high electricity prices, unreliable supply, and limited access to electricity for many citizens. The REM is aimed at addressing these challenges by creating a single, integrated electricity market for the region.
The REM is expected to be implemented in phases, with the first phase focusing on the interconnection of national electricity grids. The second phase will focus on the harmonization of market rules and the establishment of a regional power trading platform.