Stakeholders in the electricity sector are pushing for increased adoption of renewable energy solutions through effective consumer finance, investment support, and stakeholder collaboration.
Speaking during the 2023 renewable energy conference organised by the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) in collaboration with Heinrich Boll Foundation (HBF) in Abuja, Afam Victor Ogene, chairman, House of Representatives committee on renewable energy, said with the fast dwindling global fossil fuel reserve, renewable energy was the future of electricity generation, adding that Nigeria must step up and be more intentional in investing in the renewable energy and technologies.
According to him, access to electricity has remained a big challenge in Nigeria, triggering the need for alternative energy sources to augment what we currently have.
“Energy plays a crucial role in our everyday lives, whether as individuals, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), big manufacturing firms, and service providers. The overall role of energy in economic development, agriculture, and productivity in corporate and government offices, cannot be quantified.
“With diverse renewable energy resources available in Nigeria, I believe that if the enabling technology is developed and funded, renewable energy has the potential to bridge the energy gap in Nigeria,” he said.
He explained that as of 2022, the total renewable energy capacity in Africa was 59 gigawatts, representing a growth of nearly five percent in comparison to the previous year, keeping an upward trend.
“As of 2022, renewable energy accounted for 16.4 percent of the total electricity capacity in Nigeria. The share experienced a decrease over the past years. On the contrary, the total renewable energy capacity in Africa has been keeping an upward trend.
For Ayo Ademilua, president of REAN, the adoption of renewable energy has become imperative with the increasing price of fossil fuels.
“Renewable energy in Nigeria is no longer just as an alternative energy considering the prices of petrol. Whether for individual use, or businesses and industries, everybody needs to consider renewables right now. We also know that one of the major problems that consumers have been having concerning this is affordability and the ability to have renewable energy technologies in their homes and businesses to solve the power problems they have.
“So we are doing this basically to bring together experts in this field to speak to us on available solutions, available support that we have from corporate governments and all other agencies in easing the adoption of the renewable energy technology in Nigeria.”
Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, managing director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), said the nation’s off-grid, renewable energy space has grown at a fast pace in the last five years.
He explained that with the current estimates on the number of Nigerians without access to sustainable energy, it was obvious that the sector required more push from stakeholders.
Representing the MD, Abba Aliyu, head, of the project management unit, said, that through the visibility that we have at the REA, we continue to witness the impact of collaboration, innovation and technical expertise as we navigate this ecosystem to deliver energy to last-mile communities, healthcare centres, schools, markets and agricultural clusters.
“At the Rural Electrification Agency, we believe that beyond keeping the lights on, sustainable energy access, especially in previously unserved and underserved communities is the key to true sustainable development and inclusion.