The Nigerian – German Energy Partnership, NGEP, has began the process of installing a 10 Megawatt solar plant at the University of Ibadan. The project was kicked off at the ground breaking ceremony and had the German Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Bernard Schlagheck.
Speaking to newsmen, Bernard said: “This is one of the main plans by the energy policy of the Federal Government, and we are trying to respond to the policy priority of the Nigeria government.”
Next in line to benefit from this project are these universities; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira, followed by Modibo Adama University of Technology, Yola, followed by Bayero State University, Kano, followed by University of Maiduguri and others.
According to Vanguard, the Coordinator of the Partnership program and the Head of Programme of the Nigeria Energy Support Programme from GIZ (German Development Cooperation Organisation) is Jeremy Gaines. He said the original cost of the project was estimated around $15 million for 10 Megawatts.
He also said: “The cost of the project, the time it takes for the project to start, and the time it takes for the project to be completed, may still go down, but that is the figure we are looking at.”
What does this mean for the university?
Electricity. Lots of it. 1 megawatt can power up to 164 homes. Imagine what 10 megawatts will do for the university. That’s not all. A solar-powered university would mean more technical know-how for students and staff of the University: added knowledge, added technical skills, higher employability of engineering graduates.
The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah, clearly understands this, which is why he said: “The importance of provision of consistent power supply to our higher institution cannot be overemphasized, as it will promote productivity, efficacy and professionalism in research, teaching and learning with a remarkable impact on the quality of graduate coming out of our institution.”
As we already understand, solar energy generates zero waste or carbon emissions. This is energy at its cleanest. That means less zero pollution for us. That also means the people at the Climate Change Summit Buhari attended earlier this year will be happy.
In the end, if this project is executed and extended to other schools, this is probably the beginning of the end of the midnight candle, literally. Goodbye to rechargeable lamps and lanterns for students. Welcome to the 24/7 electricity era.