Nigeria is one of the 195 parties that signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. The international treaty was negotiated on climate change, covering climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance. Since then, the Federal Government has worked towards achieving net-zero carbon emission in 2060. In line with this, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Associations-Alliance (REEEA-A), which is the umbrella body of all clean energy organizations in Nigeria, revealed that clean energy sources could replace the $20 billion spent on fueling generators in the country annually.
An international energy conference was organized in Abuja themed, “Accelerating Private Sector Investment in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sector.” In a communique after, the president of the governing council of the group, Prof. Magnus Onuoha, called on the authorities to create a level playing field for operators. He said that the conference was organized against the background of growing public concerns over issues of epileptic power supply and the need to transition into the renewable energy alternative in the country.
New electricity act calls for a change of status quo in the energy sector.
So, an alternative source of energy is energy from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. They include sunlight, wind, the movement of water, and geothermal heat. The aftermath of the signing of the Electricity Act by President Tinubu has revealed the need to change the status quo as an imperative. This is because the unstable supply of power across the country has slowed down developmental progress and has made a lot of businesses dependent on power to shut down.
Artisans are the worst hit in this situation. A number of them have raised concerns in the media over the epileptic power supply and the hike in the rate of tariffs. Even some tertiary institutions were pulling out from using the national grid because of this. The umbrella association also revealed that an estimated $15-$20 billion is spent every year on fueling generators in Nigeria. This is because the current capacity of electricity generated is at a meager 3,500 megawatts.
Solutions to address barriers to clean energy adoption.
At the end of the meeting, Onuoha said that the stakeholders in the sector have identified solutions which could significantly address investment barriers in the clean energy sector in the country. According to the alliance, that 200 million Nigerians depend on just 3,500 megawatts of electricity shows the deficiency of the situation and calls for more dogged measures to ensure a meaningful change. One of such solutions is to start funding more projects with the local currency (the naira) to enable the growth of community-based developers for off-grid communities.
The alliance also called for technical assistance and capacity building accelerator programs for renewable energy entrepreneurs and developers; revenue assurances to support and fund large scale solar projects; and payment mechanisms to support clean energy expansion. The body further called for policy recommendations to build social acceptance for Nigeria to use natural gas as a transition fuel. Of course, there has to be a form of acceptance for fuels such as kerosene to be phased out. The policy will also serve to leverage on the Electricity Act 2023 recently passed into law by engaging the 36 states for integrated electricity within their states to generate power.
Most proactive option to tackle power issues is renewable energy.
According to the group, other solutions to spur clean energy growth in the country include accelerating investment in the emerging green hydrogen space, electric vehicle (EV) opportunities in Nigeria and quick wins as well as development of carbon market opportunities to generate revenue. The REEEA-A maintained that renewable energy has been identified as the most proactive option to address the challenges of electricity instability at the moment. It said that a lot can be achieved in transitioning to a more sustainable alternative with adequate financing, investment and support by the government and all relevant stakeholders.