Regardless of the enormous benefits of hydropower energy sources in West Africa, there are other renewable sources such as solar and wind that have not been sufficiently tapped for power generation. This chapter discusses the need to integrate the various renewable energy (RE) technologies to meet the ever-increasing demand in West Africa. For affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all and climate change mitigation and the reduction of environmental and health impacts that happens to be part of the goals of sustainable development, there is the need to devise other ways of producing energy to meet the current rate of demand growth.
As the conventional sources for power generation reach their peaks, RE technologies are the hope for West Africa and the world at large. The theoretical and technical potentials of the various RE technologies have been reviewed in this chapter. Average solar radiation across the West Africa subregion is estimated to be between 5 and 6 kWh/m2/day. Mauritania and Niger for instance have the best solar radiation resources among the West African countries ranging from 5.65 to 6.68 kWh/m2/day and 5.69–6.73 kWh/m2/day, respectively. The potential of wind and other RE technologies has also been reviewed in this chapter. Even though West Africa has the potential for RE technologies, the variability of their resources poses a threat to energy security. The cost of RE technologies is also another barrier that impedes the smooth integration of RE technologies for sustainable development. The connection between renewable energy and sustainable development as well as policy recommendations and the way forward to combat the barriers to RE technologies have been discussed.