Renewable Energy Needs Good Policy, Financing Measure to Grow – NESG

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The eventual outcome of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) CEOs Business Roundtable on “Renewable Energy”, in partnership with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, was a call for stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity sector, to develop a robust policy framework and smart financing measures to help grow the renewable energy sector in the country.

As at today, over 56% of the Nigerian populace (Approximately 97 million people) do not have access to grid electricity and those who are connected to the grid face substantial power interruptions. Systemic issues affect all phases of the power value chain from generation to distribution, thereby forcing Nigerians to rely on self-generation. An estimated 41% of Nigerian businesses generate their own power supply to augment the national grid supply according to a recent World Bank Report. Nigeria lags far behind other developing nations in terms of grid-based electricity consumption with 126 kWh per capita. Based on the Nigeria’s GDP and global trends, electricity consumption should be at least five times higher than it is today.

Considering the huge energy demands in the country, with a teeming population of over 180million people, the quest for an energy mix has become imperative, leading to the 30:30:30 agenda. The agenda seeks to galvanize efforts in achieving a 30% contribution from renewables to the power equation of 30gw by 2030. This is to tackle the issue of about 100 million Nigerians that are currently not connected to the electricity grid.

According to Mohammed Gambo, a farmer in Taraba State who is not on the national electricity power grid, “If a government policy can be made that will allow me to provide my own power from solar energy and give the excess power I don’t need to my neighbours for a fee, it will help our collective farms and homes thrive better. As it is now, I can’t afford to bear the cost of the initial solar power infrastructure alone with no hope of quickly recouping my investments.”

Although these challenges still exist today, it is important to note that since June 2015 the power sector has recorded some operational improvements, mainly driven by increased availability of gas. In August 2015, Nigeria hit historical highs for both peak generation and total energy generated across the system at 4,811 MW and 4,213 MWh/h respectively. Transmission losses fell by 10% between June and August 2015 compared to the first four months of 2015. The recent decisions by the new government to fast track execution of the first set of World Bank partial risk guarantees, granting of sovereign immunity waiver aimed at progressing development on the first tranche of project-financed IPPs and the interim extension of the TCN management contract are also very commendable and has helped to restore investor confidence in the sector.

Giving the opening remarks the CEO of the NESG Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola said that the roundtable was focused on establishing the renewable business platform in Nigeria. Mr. Jaiyeola noted that renewables are one of the strongest options for delivering power in Nigeria, and informed stakeholders that the roundtable will encourage and adopt “Made-In-Nigeria” innovative solutions for renewable energy.

Jaiyeola speaking further stressed that the roundtable will intensify the advocacy in the narrative for renewable energy in Nigeria, while it will also discuss investment options in renewable technologies. If the round table objectives are achieved to some extent, they will help address the challenges that numerous Nigerians like Alhaji Gambo are currently grappling with.

The Keynote speaker and Research Coordinator, Energy and Climate Policy, Oeko Institute, Dr. Felix Matthes in his presentation during the roundtable asserted that the more robust way in the global trend of energy mix and transition is going renewable, but that it was much more capital intensive.

Dr. Matthes said the key issue for adopting renewables in the case of Nigeria, was identifying the business model that is suitable and adaptable. He said that for Nigeria a “Non-technical” infrastructure would be required to ensure a sustainable renewable energy generation.

Source: News Direct

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