Calabar, June 18th, 2018 – Power for All, a global advocacy campaign for distributed renewable energy (DRE), conducted two workshops for policymakers, faith-based institutions, civil society organizations and trade associations in the South-South region of Nigeria on how to use DRE solutions to accelerate the rate of electrification and end energy poverty in the region.
The South-South region has an electrification rate of 58% which is above the national rate of 45%. With a total population of about 27.5 million people, as many as 11.5 million people are without access to modern energy.
DRE solutions—which range from pico-solar solutions and stand-alone solar systems to mini-grids and mobile solar farms—have the advantage of being readily available, affordable, and immediately deployable. DRE solutions can provide energy access to consumers in a number of days—versus the years it takes to site, permit, build, and manage a traditional centralized fossil fuel grid system. DRE can also be an important tool for Nigeria to utilize, as a way to deliver energy services to last-mile communities trapped in energy poverty.
The workshop in Calabar is the third regional workshop after those that took place in Lokoja in February and in Enugu in March. Two more workshops are planned for Kano, Kano State, and Ibadan, Oyo State.
The workshop was attended by policymakers on energy, water resources, infrastructure, and rural development from Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Edo States.
Ms. Ify Malo, the Country Manager of Power for All, said, “This workshop increases the number of options that states in the region have for using to increase energy access in their areas, especially considering the advantages that decentralized renewables have over conventional power sources in terms of cost, speed of deployment and being environmentally friendly.”
Oliver Orok, the Cross River State Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Social Welfare said: “This workshop is a great resource to myself and other members of the state government here present. It has increased our knowledge of decentralized renewable energy and we hope to use this knowledge to build strategic partnerships with private companies for investment.”
Paul Okungbowa, Senior Special Adviser on Renewable Energy to the Edo State Governor said: “This workshop has been a good learning experience through discussions with other state governments and private companies. This will help us with our decentralized renewable energy projects targeted at markets, schools and health centres.”
Okon Ntoketi, Director of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Akwa Ibom Ministry of Science and Technology: “This workshop has been educative and impactful, and needs to be replicated in different parts of the country.”
There were also presentations from renewable energy companies such as AStevens Group, Solar Sisters and Cloud Energy who spoke about their current and past projects and their impact. The companies exhibited their products and held demonstrations on their use and effectiveness.
The workshop is part of a larger market acceleration program funded by USAID and co-implemented by FHI360 and Power for All. The program established a DRE Taskforce, bringing together diverse stakeholders in the DRE sector, to tackle barriers preventing the scaling up of DRE in Nigeria. The program also established a market intelligence platform — Platform for Energy Access and Knowledge (PEAK) — that enables investors and donors to make informed decisions on DRE project opportunities in order to earn the highest returns. The Nigeria market acceleration program, an initiative under the Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development, is designed to work with governments at national and sub-national levels to use DRE as a means to increase electrification rates nationally and within states and achieve a75% national electrification rate by 2020.
About Power for All
Power for All is a global campaign that advances decentralized renewable energy as the fastest, most cost-effective and sustainable approach to universal energy access. It is active in India, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria and its 200+ partners enable to have a footprint in over 15 energy-impoverished countries.
In Nigeria, it facilitated a Call to Action that saw over 15 partners cutting across government, the private sector, donors and civil society undertake commitments to actions that will grow the DRE sector.
It was also instrumental to the establishment of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) to enable the private sector to be a part of renewable energy policy formulation.
It has also been instrumental in the formulation and adoption of various policy instruments aimed at growing the DRE sector, such as the Mini-Grids Regulation.
For more information, visit the Power for All - Nigeria website at www.powerforall.org/nigeria
About Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development
The Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development is a global partnership founded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power Africa, the U.K. Department for International Development, the African Development Bank, and independent charity, the Shell Foundation. SOGE works to accelerate growth in the off-grid energy market to provide 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa with access to modern, clean, and affordable energy.