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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7142350, 9 pages
Research Article

Solar Photovoltaic Energy and Electricity Security on ECOWAS Countries

1Laboratoire d’Hydrologie Appliquée (LHA), Université d’Abomey-Calavi, 01 BP 4521 Cotonou, Benin
2Institut de Mathématiques et de Sciences Physiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, BP 613 Porto-Novo, Benin
3Laboratoire des Energies Thermiques et Renouvelables, Université Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou 03 BP 7021, Burkina Faso

Correspondence should be addressed to Emmanuel Agnidé Lawin

Received 28 February 2017; Revised 12 July 2017; Accepted 17 July 2017; Published 27 August 2017

Academic Editor: Pallav Purohit

Copyright © 2017 Emmanuel Agnidé Lawin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study presented in this paper analyzes the role that photovoltaic energy can play in enhancing energy self-sufficiency in each of the fifteen Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries. For this purpose, the satellite CM-SAF database, Global Land Cover data and land slope computed from Digital Elevation Model data, was used to compute the area of suitable lands, the potential of energy, and the coefficient of variation of solar irradiation. The results show that 31.76% of the total area of each ECOWAS country has the potential to shelter photovoltaic energy system generators. Except Cape-Verde which lacks data concerning land cover, all the countries of the community dispose of suitable area for photovoltaic systems installation. Using only 1% of these areas at each country scale the amount of the whole community energy production can reach up to 7782.37 TWh·year−1. The result of solar resource repartition shows that the energy could have a low interannual variation. But, in the same year, a significant variation of solar irradiation exits between months.