The Federal Government says its commitment to attain a 30 per cent renewable and low carbon energy at low cost by 2030 in the country is clear, firm and unshaken.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, re-stated government’s commitment at the third edition of the Africa Today Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
The summit is a platform designed to discuss issues relating to African economies with a view to advising governments on best policy measures to improve their economy.
The theme of the 2017 edition, “Energy Option in a Low Cost and Low Carbon World, which way Nigeria and Africa“, was convoked to discuss how best to harness the vast opportunities in the renewable resources in the country.
Fashola said government’s commitment to change the power outlook for Nigeria and exploit opportunities for renewable energy at a low cost and low carbon was being driven by necessity, contract and policies.
Fashola, represented by the Minster of State for Power,Works and Housing, Mr Suleiman Hassan, recalled that available power in May 2015 was 2,690 MW with 85 per cent of the power generated by gas fired plants.
This, he said, made the nation vulnerable whenever there was a gas shortage or damage to gas pipelines and assets.
This, he further said, resulted to government’s plan to diversify the nation’s energy sources and optimise other assets for power production by producing an energy mix that targeted 30 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
According to him, government had matched its plans with actions by signing 14 solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPAs) with 14 developers with the potential to deliver over 1,000 MW of solar power.
To further drive the renewable plans, Fashola said: “We have resolved problems that stalled work at the Zungeru 700 MW hydro power plant with a new completion date of 2019.
“We have also now awarded the 3,050 MW Mambilla hydro power plant after over 40 years of its initial conception.“
He said that government, in addition, was in advanced stages of procurement for 6 small hydro dams for private sector operation.
Fashola said that government was also pursuing renewable energy contract to diversify the energy sources from gas and provide some energy security.
“The solar and hydro projects I have referred to are parts of our contribution to this global commitment.
“We have also moved to seek to improve efficiency by completing the Energy Efficiency Building Code that will form part of our National Building Code, to help us develop energy efficient buildings and reduce our carbon foot print.“
On Policy, he said government was also being driven by policy embedded in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), where one of the five pillars was energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.
He said government had expanded the National Grid capacity for on- grid power from 5,000 MW in 2015 to 6,900 MW in September.
He said the approval of mini grid regulations to guide registration and licensing for small consumers and off-grid developers to produce up to 100 kilowatts and over 100 kilowatts had started yielding results.
In his presentation, Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba said what Nigeria required to solve its power supply deficit was to develop small power projects in the country.
He said that accelerated construction of renewable mini power projects in all parts of the country would drastically reduce the challenge of power supply in the country.
According to him, the development of the small renewable plants and the transmission of electricity via the plants will unlock massive job opportunities in the country, especially in the rural areas.