• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria’s vast renewable energy largely untapped, say experts

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 The unused abundant renewable energy resource endowed Nigeria has reinforced clamour for its integration into the nation’s energy mix, particularly the electricity sector which reform is on-going.

While the global renewable energy industry is growing rapidly as investment in the industry is significantly increasing, Nigeria has yet to tap into its huge renewable energy resources to drive its industrialisation agenda.

These are the opinions of experts, who spoke at BusinessDay annual Giving Back Conference with the theme, ‘Investing in the Environment: Alternative Sources of Energy for a Sustainable Future’.

They stressed the urgent need for government and the private sector to invest in and harness the renewable energy as veritable alternative sources of energy for the nation’s sustainable development.

Taofiq Tijani, Lagos State commissioner for energy and mineral resources, said, “Nigeria is well-endowed with renewable energy, but it remains largely untapped and we need to deploy these resources to provide electricity to those who do not have access to it.”

While calling for the development of the renewable energy by the public and private sectors, the commissioner, who was represented by Fouad Animasaun, senior special assistant to Governor Fashola on power, noted that the road to sustainable energy requires the use of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources such as solar energy, small hydro, biomass, and wind power.

Anita Okoribido, president, Council for Renewable Energy, Nigeria, stated that Nigeria had not invested appreciably in renewable energy, otherwise known as clean energy system like India and Brazil who have invested billions.

She said, “The United States, China, Germany, Italy, India and Brazil are investing in and developing their renewable energy. It is a shame that no African country is on this list.”

Countries like Denmark, Germany and Austria were said to be successfully moving towards 100 percent renewable energy. Denmark has committed itself to 100 percent renewable energy in the electricity, heat and transport sectors.

Okoribido said clean energy has a very important role to play in grassroots development as it would provide not just electricity, but also create jobs for graduates.

She stressed the need for micro-finance intervention programmes to incentivise investment and catalyse development of clean energy.

“The time is apt for us to focus on protecting our environment through clean energy. The time is ripe for Nigeria to lead the way in Africa in terms of effective utilisation of alternative sources of energy. The Nigerian authority must get started and be committed to developing renewable energy in the country.”

 

FEMI ASU