The impact of Covid-19 on the Ecowas energy sector
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world-system and impacted our way of life like never before. Across the globe, airports, borders, and businesses were shut down and people were mandated to stay at home, as countries took measures to fight the pandemic and preserve lives—some still remain in different stages of a lockdown. As ECOWAS countries grapple to slow the spread of the virus, they must also face the fact that without adequate energy, it is much harder to sustain measures needed to fight a virus like this one. Being confined without electricity, water, and fuel for cooking and other uses is the reality for millions in the region. Those living in rural off-grid communities, those served by weak and unreliable grid networks, and those without access to clean cooking systems are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. The pandemic has revealed even more underlying vulnerabilities in the region’s energy sector. We have seen delays in the implementation of energy strategies, including the postponement of planned generation capacity and, of course, for some countries, a reduction in public revenues due to the global decline in oil prices. In addition, energy demand reduced significantly in the industrial and economic sectors but increased in the domestic sector, creating a new wave of energy-vulnerable citizens and, at the same time, reiterating the fragility of utilities in the region. As countries in the region try to cope with the surging numbers of infected persons, there has been a need for constant electrification of traditional health centres and makeshift health facilities.
Organización Latinoamericana de Energía (OLADE) - Centro de Documentación
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