• Saturday, May 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Harnessing off-grid renewable policies as option to improve power generation

Nigeria, AFD sign €25m deal to strengthen power transmission

Recent projections indicate that an estimated 26 per cent of rural families in Nigeria have access to electricity. It is evidently clear that energy is one of the major drivers of a growing economy and is an essential building block of economic development.

Nigeria power sector, though brimming with potentials till date, is still looking for a way to go past challenges such as erratic gas supply, Transmission and Distribution losses, poor transmission and distribution infrastructure, unaccountability in metering and billing, cross-subsidies among others.

Industry watchers maintain that meeting the energy challenge is therefore of fundamental importance to Nigeria economic growth imperatives and its efforts to raise its level of human development. They insist that energy sector reforms, sector rejuvenation and plumbing the perceived faults in the critical financials of the sector should be the government’s primary focus areas.

READ ALSO:  Ifeoma Malo has just one goal: Ending energy poverty

According to them, for sustained economic growth, long-term availability of adequate energy at affordable cost is crucial. Energy availability, access and affordability are necessary for meeting the country’s high economic growth expectations.

Analysts in their various summations opine that the level of economic development has been observed to be reliant on the energy demand, it is necessary to focus on the management of energy demand and supply as a means to abatement.

According to them “Energy efficiency programmes, structural changes contribute towards the variation in energy demand and understanding the various components of energy demand is therefore important and necessary in order to deal with future emissions. Ayodele Oni, an energy expert in a recent interview was quoted to have said that The Nigerian power sector has depended on gas for far too long, especially looking at the issues attached to a steady supply of gas.

He advocated for a more diverse energy mix for the Nigerian power sector. According to him, “A more sustainable future would see renewable energy playing a more prominent role. I hope that in the future there can be utilisation of other sources of fuel like solar and coal which can be utilized. In addition, the proper implementation of the mini-grid regulation will assist the supply of power to rural areas around the country”.

READ ALSO: Fixing market, infrastructure, regulation are ways to restore Nigeria’s power sector – experts

Oni opines that it would be most helpful if a plethora of off-grid solutions were developed, to enable the industry progress to its maximal potential. The power sector in Nigeria is brimming with potential as a result of a lack of sustainable investment in the industry and at the moment, serious investors can get some concession waivers and incentives which may not be available much later when things settle in the sector.

“I would suggest that extensive due diligence is conducted on each power project sought to be embarked on, including ensuring detailed contracts are entered into between Generation companies and Off-takers. There is a need to ensure bankable and binding contracts are entered into clearly setting out the obligations of all parties and ensuring that potential risks are properly identified and assigned to the parties that can handle the same”. He said.

KELECHI EWUZIE