At 7000MW, Nigeria still lacks the needed capacity to cater to her power needs across the country and with over 90 million people without access to electricity, it is imperative for stakeholders to discuss adequately financing Nigeria’s Power sector, as well as, explore other innovative sources of power generation for the nation’s development.
This was the central theme of discussion at the 16th edition of the Seminar series on Renewable Energy Potentials in Nigeria tagged Renewable Energy Financing hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Germany and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK Nigeria) in Lagos and Abuja.
Making a case for off-grid (rural) renewable electrification, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, the Executive Director of Rural Electrification Fund (REF) made a presentation on “Off-grid Investment and Funding Opportunities in Nigeria”. In his presentation, Dr. Ohiaren stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through her Rural Electrification Agency is responsible for implementing and supporting off-grid initiatives. He further announced the agency’s launch of four pilot projects aimed at electrifying over 50,000 shops in the economic clusters of Markets, Shopping Plazas/Complexes and Agriculture/Industry through the Energizing Economies Initiative.
In his presentation, Off-grid Renewable Energy Financing, Mr. Dozie Okpalaobieri, an Energy Sector Policy and Regulations Specialist at the African Development Bank (AfDB) posited that Nigerian businesses spend almost $14 billion (N5 Trillion) annually on an inefficient power generation model that is also expensive and unclean. According to Mr. Okpalaobieri, “scaling up Off-Grid solutions and making it commercially viable will unlock a huge market opportunity not just for Nigeria, but in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a framework to increase on-grid generation to add 160 gigawatts of new capacity by 2025 and increase off-grid generation to add 75 million connections by 2025, an increase that is twenty times more than what Africa generates today.”
Understanding that Nigeria’s off-grid market is the largest in Africa, Head of German Desk, Commercial Banking Division, Mr. Sebastian Barroso da Fonseca presented some of the German Desk’s financial solutions local partners in Nigeria who met the requirement. Stakeholders were urged to tap into available funds & investments opportunities like the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund, Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa 2.0, the Green Climate Fund and many other private sector funding.
Alli Sheriffdeen Abiola
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