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FG embarks on renewable energy projects

To tackle the energy crisis facing the    nation, the Federal Government has embarked on     renewable energy projects. Minister of State for Power, Mr Nuhu Wya, said this  in Abuja at a workshop on “Policy Framework for Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy,” jointly organised by the ministry and the World Bank.

Wya, who said the projects would cover small and medium scale hydro, wind and solar power systems, would be located nationwide.

He said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was developing feed-in tariff for renewal energy power and regulatory framework in line with technical standards for generation.

According to him, the feed-in tariff will serve as decentralised solutions for off-grid and  mini-grid systems in rural and  semi-urban areas. “This administration is focused on an institutional framework that will encourage and strengthen state governments’ participation in renewable energy and rural electrification projects. This underpins the significance of this workshop and the need for us to ensure that we go away with useful lessons, ” he said.

The minister blamed the epileptic power supply on the imbalance between electricity supply and demand, with an attendant low access of about 40 per cent in rural areas.

“ Nigeria is endowed with abundant energy resources at different locations within the country which can be harnessed to generate electricity that will enhance security of supply and increase rural access to electricity services,” he added. Wya said government would provide an enabling environment for integration of renewable energy based power supply and energy efficiency. This, he said, was by removing barriers to investment and market development through appropriate regulatory framework.
“This will create the appropriate climate for scale-up in renewable energy projects through local and foreign investment as well as the promotion of end-user technologies” he said.

Also speaking, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist, Mr Wagar Haider, said rural electricity access was less than 20 per cent inspite of the huge concentration of people at the grassroots.  Haider, who noted that the energy sector was the major engine of social, economic and industrial growth, said renewable energy was more economical compared to grid-based extension of electricity network.

The expert said the system was also environmentally- friendly and carbon neutral, adding that if widely explored, it would address the nation”s erratic power supply. He said the bank, in partnership with the federal government, carried out the Transmission Development Project in 2001.

Also executed were the National Energy Development Projects in 2005, Niger Basin Water Resources and Development project in 2007 and the Nigeria Electricity and Gas Improvement project in 2009. Haider also said the bank had collaborated with state governments on FADAMA and commercial agricultural projects.


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