June 17, 2024

Nigeria unveils roadmap to 20 gigawatt renewable energy market



By Juliet Umeh

To close the energy gap in Nigeria, Rocky Mountain Institute, RMI, a nonprofit organisation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, GEAPP, weekend joined forces to unveil a roadmap for Nigeria’s energy sector. 

The plan outlines a path towards a 20 gigawatt, GW, renewable energy market within the next decade, achieved through the rapid expansion of distributed renewable energy sources and battery storage solutions.

The roadmap launch coincided with a high-level visit from representatives of GEAPP, the Rockefeller Foundation, and SEforAll, who came to witness Nigeria’s progress in transitioning to clean energy.

RMI Managing Director, Ije Ikoku Okeke, said the initiative leveraged the success of initial “first-wave” projects in distributed renewable energy and aims to achieve multiple benefits.

He said: “It can increase revenue for electricity distribution companies, DisCos, reduce carbon emissions by a significant margin, and bridge the gap in the nation’s power supply.

“Customers can expect lower energy bills by reducing reliance on expensive fossil fuel generators. Renewable energy developers gain access to a wider range of attractive project locations.

“This roadmap arrives at a critical juncture. A recent SDG7 tracking report revealed a concerning slowdown in achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, a UN goal.

‘’Nigeria, with over 85 million people lacking access to electricity, represents the largest population without power globally.

“RMI collaborated with five of Nigeria’s DisCos to conduct a comprehensive analysis, revealing a substantial opportunity for distributed energy resources, DERs, across the country.

“Their findings suggest a potential market of 1 GW annually for the five companies, translating to a national total of approximately 2 GW per year over the next 10 years.

“This translates to a potential market exceeding $14 billion in generation assets alone over the next decade.”

Okeke emphasised the unique opportunity for DisCos to partner with private developers and stakeholders to leverage DERs.

“This collaboration can address longstanding challenges with power availability and reliability while bolstering revenue through increased sales and service charges,’’ he added.

Interim CEO at GEAPP, Joseph Nganga, highlighted the importance of collaboration and innovative solutions to achieve Nigeria’s energy access and transition goals.

‘’This roadmap provides a framework to accelerate DER deployment and connect millions of Nigerians to clean, reliable, and affordable electricity.

“The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, is actively involved, aiming for at least 10 percent of DisCo energy to come from embedded generation by next year, with half sourced from renewables,’’ he said.