The chief executive of Italian utility Enel, Francesco Starace, has said the lack of cross-border power interconnections, which effectively makes each country an island in terms of electric power, was holding back renewable energy investment in West Africa.
He said Nigeria was too difficult an environment for Enel to invest in and said that with the exception of Senegal and Ghana many West African countries were too small and isolated to attract significant investment. “If they would agree to what the eastern countries have agreed to, create some kind of interconnected system, they would become much more interesting,” he said.
He said he could not comment on whether Enel would want to invest in grids in West Africa. “First they would have to agree they want it, get consensus between governments,” he said. He said Latin America too had relatively little connectivity between countries, but attracts more investment because of its higher level of development.