A renewable energy expert, Miss Ify Malo, has urged the Federal Government to bridge the gap in grid generation for people to have more access to power supply.
Malo, the Nigeria Campaign Director, Power for All, gave the advice in Lagos at a seminar on Solar PV Development in Nigeria.
Her presentation was on “Mini-Grids as a Driver for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The event was organised by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos and the delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria.
Malo said: “If we continue the way we are going in term of grid generation, we will not get energy access to over 180 million Nigerians in the next 50 to 100 years.
“The way to bridge the gap and accelerate energy access for people in the rural and urban communities is actually to go for renewable energy.
“This means that we have to put in incentives for developer, distributors and financiers to actually come and do cluster mini-grid project to get to these communities.”
She said that most of the solar street lights were not working, because it was handled by unqualified people.
“We have huge perception problem when it comes to renewable energy, especially solar; people don’t believe that it works.
“Most of the solar-powered street lights don’t last for six months, because government used to give the contract to unqualified people to execute.
“They normally use substandard products to install the streets solar and after the installation they will pack up; that is the major problem we have.
“There is no operational and maintenance built into the way the contracts are awarded,” Malo said.
She commended the Federal Government on policies embarked upon toward achieving renewable energy in the country.
According to her, the Eligible Customers Policy of the present government will help individual consumer to get power supply from the generating companies.
Also, Mrs Dolapo Kukoyi, the Partner, Details Commercial Solicitors, said that mini-grid regulation would help to improve access to power for the unserved and underserved areas.
Kukoyi said that it would also encourage the deployment of renewable energy on a small scale.
In his remarks, Mr Duke Benjamin, the Head of Energy and Environment Desk, Germany in Nigeria, said that Nigeria has yet to witness potential development in renewable energy.