Government, civil society and the private sector came together to make commitments to speed up the adoption of decentralized renewable energy in Nigeria, helping to achieve universal energy access faster.

Government, civil society and the private sector came together to make commitments to speed up the adoption of decentralized renewable energy in Nigeria, helping to achieve universal energy access faster.

 The Government of Nigeria, civil society and private sector joined forces last week in a Call to Action on energy access. At the event, attended by Federal Ministry of Power Permanent Secretary, Engineer Louis Edozien, a range of companies, civil society organisations and the rural electrification agency made powerful commitments to undertake activities that will accelerate the growth of the distributed renewable energy (DRE) market— vital for reaching Nigeria’s unelectrified population, which has grown from 44 million to 75 million since 1990 (SE4ALL, 2015).

The Call to Action showcases the first ever recommendations from the Industry stakeholders under the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), and a range of commitments from stakeholders, including the Federal Government of Nigeria, to take action in support of DRE market growth in 2017.

The cost of the energy access deficit is huge, and is borne by households, businesses and the government. For instance, in the 2017 budget the Federal Government of Nigeria, its agencies, ministries and institutions are expected to spend N8.4bn on the maintenance, fuelling and purchase of new generators for the 2017 fiscal year alone.

Around 60 million Nigerians use diesel generators, with households spending as much as N6,660 on kerosene monthly according to the General Household Panel Survey by the National Bureau of Statistics and the World Bank. The energy access challenge is also a tremendous opportunity. With kerosene and diesel use so widespread, Nigeria has the largest potential DRE market in Africa -  and the chance to save money, create jobs and drive economic growth through adopting DRE.

Engineer Louis Edozien, the Permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Power said: “We are looking to the private sector to lead and drive the renewable energy sector to ensure that we achieve access. We have laid solid foundations to government policies to ensure that this happens. The work of Power For All in the Decentralized Renewable Energy Space, particularly in the areas of market development and advocacy. We are committed to meeting the needs of the millions of unelectrified Nigerians and belive that continued collaboration with your organization and other similar platforms will certainly help in moving the ball forward.”

Keith Hammond – Head - Infrastructure Advisory - DFID Nigeria said: “I think Power For All can play an important role in helping inform people of what can happen and what needs to happen– and all that are involved in the development of Renewables in Nigeria should welcome their efforts to do so. DFID is proud to have supported this campaign over the past year and is committed to continuing to work with Power For All to end energy poverty faster.”

The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) makes the following recommendations:

  • Improve access to finance for DRE companies, through for example improving access to foreign exchange & increasing Central Bank of Nigeria micro, small and medium enterprise funding for DRE.
  • Raise awareness - help build demand for DRE through public awareness campaigns.
  • Consistently apply VAT & tariffs to DRE products and components.
  • Strengthen the Renewable Energy Department as the lead government agency responsible for DRE market growth.
  • Improve market data to help inform decision-making and attract investment.
  • Develop a framework for DRE quality and standards promotion.
  • Provide technical assistance and capacity building for businesses.

The Federal Government of Nigeria Ministry of Power:

  • FGN has approved and adopted complementary enabling policies such as the: National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEP),  National Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) and Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP).
  • Launched the “Presidential Initiative on Rural Solar Home Lighting Systems”, in partnership with Azuri and Niger Delta Power Holding Company, which aims to provide electricity for 20,000 rural households.
  • FGN’s 2016 and 2017 budgets concentrate on completion of on-going off-grid and mini-grid demonstration projects such as 50kW Pakau Village, in Kaduna State.
  • FGN has resumed work on major base-load hydro projects at Kashimbilla 40MW with completion in 2018, Zungeru 700MW with completion in 2019, and is actively preparing for the Mambilla 3,050MW with target completion in 2024.
  • NBET executed solar power purchase agreements with solar 14 project developers with total 1,100MW with target completion date in 2017 and 2018.
  • FGN is facilitating development of hydro-electric sites in partnership with private investors starting with concession of six locationswith totalcapacity of 16.3MW

Other stakeholders making commitments included the Rural Electrification Agency, DRE private companies (Nova Lumos, Azuri), civil society organisations (Global Rights, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Yar’Adua Foundation, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NigeriaWomen Trust Fund, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council), faith-based groups (Caritas, Lux Terra Leadership Foundation) and market development programmes (Solar Nigeria). Highlights from these commitments include:

  • Raise public awareness of DRE and strengthen demand.
  • Advocate in favour of DRE, and specific measures that would accelerate DRE market growth such as VAT/tariff reductions.
  • Enter, scale up or invest in the market to sell products or services.
  • Help attract investment to drive growth in Nigeria’s DRE sector.
  • Providing grants and technical assistance to DRE businesses to support their growth.
  • Engaging the faith community to do more to adopt and promote DRE.

The full text of the Call to Action will be released in the coming week.