Nigeria renews focus on renewable energy

Nigeria will now focus on renewable energy with special emphasis on rural areas, the country’s acting president has announced.

Yemi Osinbajo says that operators of electricity generating sets in rural areas could be out of business in the coming days as the country renews its focus on renewable energy.

Speaking at the Nigerian Renewable Energy Roundtable in Abuja the president said that the federal government, through the Rural Electrification Agency was developing an energy database that will show community locations and energy demand profiles.

He said that they were targeting 20,000 more homes in this first phase of the exercise and a Pay-As-You-Go system to 20,000 households to provide access to lighting and electric power for small devices.

This plan is set to expand the Solar Home System program to 1 million households and create a few more million jobs and also championing the use of mobile money for solar home system payments to provide access to lighting and electric power for small devices,” he said.

He said he was in Wuna and the village is now enjoying power through renewable energy initiative by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). The village now has running water; solar powered. The school has power and the school hall is now used as a community hall in the evenings. Each home has four points of light.

This has been of great benefit to children as they can now study at night and women in Wuna can now process their millet and yams at night. New jobs have been created, solar installers, maintenance, payment systems and so on.

Osinbajo thinks that the Wuna home solar project is an example of how we can creatively, aggressively and successfully provide power to the people.

The Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the ministry was committed to pursue alternative energy sources in conjunction with the private sector.

The acting president also revealed that the government would embark on a broader restructuring of the electricity sector and strive to achieve a more systematic development power market design especially for the renewable energy and stressed on the need for a framework that would bring together all stakeholders towards ensuring that “renewable energy becomes a real engine of growth for the Nigerian economy.”