…says Nigeria needs affordable, sustainable energy resources for economic growth
By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, REAN, has decried Nigeria’s 20,000MW unmet power demand, saying the country needs affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy resources.
It said this will eliminate widespread energy poverty and drive economic growth.
The Association stated these in a communique issued at the end of a 2-Day Renewable Energy Stakeholder Conference and Discussion on Consumer Financing themed: ‘Renewable Energy – Future is Here’.
According to the document signed by REAN’s Executive Secretary, Mrs Salamatu Baba-Tunzwang, energy poverty is still prevalent in the Africa, especially in Nigeria, where millions of people do not have access to electricity or clean cooking fuels.
She said, “The challenges confronting the Nigerian power sector are well documented, with about 47 per cent of Nigerians lacking access to grid electricity, and those who do have access face regular power outages.
“We have an unmet energy demand of over 20,000 megawatts (MW) and this has compromised our achievement of the SDGs.
“Nigeria is endowed with large oil, gas, hydro, and solar resources, and it has the potential to generate 12,522 MW of electric power from existing plants.
“On most days, however, it is only able to dispatch around 4,000 MW to the grid largely from hydro and gas, which is insufficient for a country of over 200 million people.
“The inefficiencies in the grid distribution network mean even lower power gets delivered to households and businesses.
“In the last 12 years, the national grid has experienced over 222 partial and total collapses. This year alone, we have seen 8 total electricity grid collapse.”
The communique, however, noted that within and behind these challenges were enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities and gains.
“Nigeria, being the country with the largest electricity access deficit with a grossly insufficient grid-supplied electricity, suggests that more attention should be paid to investments in grid fortification, expanding clean energy market access, and better
incentives for decentralized off-grid electricity segment of the market, as well as make more investment in gas to power in Nigeria,” it read.
REAN stressed that exorbitant import duties and taxes on renewable energy components posed a huge barrier to generating clean jobs, increasing energy access for all and encouraging private sector-led growth.
The communique suggested, “The office of the Presidency should use its executive power to enforce the cutback or removal of the customs import duties on renewable energy components.
“This can be done through a quota limit on the free/zero duties on RE components, while also protecting the local production quota.
“The renewable energy sector market and projects should be private sector led, not public sector as it currently is. For efficiency and effective growth of the renewable energy sector and speedy access to electricity for all, the private sector should be encouraged by the government with the right policies and coordination.”