The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that it has made remarkable adjustments to accommodate and promote investments in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector.
In a presentation at the recent second edition of the Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja, the regulatory agency identified some of the adjustments to include: a very attractive renewable energy feed-in-tariff, and a regulation that ensures that local electricity distribution companies (Discos) source for up to 50 per cent of their power from renewable sources.
The agency also described the long-term cost recovery cycle as another significant incentive to make the country to become a choice destination for renewable energy investors.
NERC’s acting chairman, Dr. Anthony Akah, who was represented by the commission’s Deputy General Manager in charge of Renewables, Research and Development, Dr. Haliru Dikko said the country’s challenges with conventional power generation gave renewable energy a perfect condition to become the energy source of choice for consumers.
He stated that though there were still challenges in developing renewable energy projects in the country, the commission’s regulations had largely ameliorated the challenges and unlocked investment opportunities in the sector.
Akah described the ‘Feed-in Tariff Regulations for Renewable Energy Sourced’ , which targets at least 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from renewables by 2018, and also allotted respective volumes of renewable energy procurement to Ikeja, Ibadan, Eko, Kaduna and Kano Discos, as a remarkable piece of law enacted to woo investments in the sector.
“The Act gave NERC the authority to issues licenses for power generation over 1MW and also empowered NERC to set tariffs for operators.
“NERC had streamlined the licensing process so any applying investor meeting the new requirements would be issued a power generation license expeditiously. Changes have also been made to the feed-in traffic mechanism, and this is important for investments in the market to address the high demand and low supply of electricity in the country,” Akah said.
Similarly, other speakers such the Technical Lead for British-funded Solar-Nigeria project, Tinyan Ogiehor and Head of Power and Procurement at Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Yesufu Alonge made presentations on how the country could maximise her renewable energy potentials.
Ogiehor in his opening remarks, highlighted the opportunities and challenges in the off-grid space. He proposed policies to tackle the challenges in the off-grid electricity markets, adding that such policies should include off-grid mapping, technical skills, mobile infrastructure and a designated body to drive the country’s off-grid electricity market.
Alonge who spoke about current investment opportunities available in Nigeria’s solar energy market place due to the electricity supply deficit, noted that the country’s small hydro dams were other good alternative renewable energy sources that could be explored by investors to stabilise the power supply in the country.