UNEP’s off-grid lighting efforts fit within the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4All) initiative and address SEA4All’s three objectives:
- universal access to modern energy services (by lowering the operating costs for illumination);
- doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency (via use of high efficiency lighting systems); and
- doubling the share of renewable energy (by pairing lighting systems with photovoltaics).
By promoting an integrated policy approach for efficient off-grid lighting through a robust stakeholder process, the en.lighten initiative supports national adoption and best practices for the phase-out of fuel-based lighting. It also provides policy and technical support to government decision-makers that quantify the opportunities of efficient off-grid lighting and focus on environmental, health, safety and Green Economy benefits.
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expressed an interest in developing a coherent strategy for on-grid and off-grid lighting in the context of the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP) development, which would improve the policy framework for energy efficient lighting technologies. Efficient off-grid lighting systems are available in some areas of the region and can deliver high performance, affordable and better quality lighting.
The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Enegy Efficiency (ECREE) launched a regional initiative for energy efficient on-grid and off-grid lighting as a top priority identified in the EEEP adopted in 2012. Strategic partners, such as the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), contribute to this initiative by providing the private sector insight necessary to assist with the development of policies and programmes. The joint effort supports the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4All) initiative and its goal of achieving universal access to modern energy services by 2030.
UNEP is cooperating with the German government to work with West African countries to accelerate a transition to sustainable, off-grid lighting. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ) is providing support to UNEP to facilitate the development of a regional policy to enable the penetration of sustainable off-grid lighting solutions in ECOWAS. GOGLA will contribute to this initiative to provide industry insight.
The ECOWAS Report on Efficient Lighting examines and assesses the energy sector and efficient lighting initiatives in ECOWAS countries. To access the report, click here.