News Column

FG Targets 30,000MW of Renewable Electricity in 10 Years

May 20, 2014

Chineme Okafor

The federal government has disclosed a grand plan to supplement on-grid electricity generation and distribution across Nigeria with renewable energy sources like solar, hydro, wind and biomass.

Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, disclosed this to visiting Vice- President of China Hydro International, Mr. Han Yang, recently in his office in Abuja. He said that government's plan to boost on-grid electricity was intended to ensure an in-country generation of 30,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity across Nigeria in next 10 years.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had earlier hinted that the ministry was ready to tap into the expertise developed by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in the design and production of renewable energy components.

Wakil noted that Nigeria has opted to swiftly join the worldwide trend of harnessing clean energy from her wind, solar and hydro resources and that President Goodluck Jonathan was determined to explore all means to address the power challenges of the country.

"As we are conversing now, we have concluded work on the National Policy on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. The policy will harness and provide focal point for all national efforts on renewable energy.

This is in line with the commitment of the president to the Economic Community for West Africa (ECOWAS) as well as the need for us as a nation to diversify our sources of power supply," Wakil said.

He further stated: "We are committed to driving the president's agenda, his vision of a Nigeria where in the next one decade, more than 30,000MW of electricity will be generated from renewable sources.

It is to that end that we are also working on the presidential initiative on renewable energy for power generation. This is to provide the needed political support at the highest level of government for local and foreign investment and drive in solar, wind, small hydro and bio mass power."

He explained that the government's policy thrust on renewable energy generation was aimed at displacing Morocco which is the leading country with wind power generation in Africa.

"As at today, Morocco is the leading wind power country in Africa. Nigeria hopes to surpass that North African country before long. We are at an advance stage on the Katsina wind farm which will soon be completed.

Other parts of the country are great areas for wind and solar power. The draft renewable energy policy that we just finalised when finally approved will provide an integrated framework for all stakeholders especially investors in clean energy power generation."

Meanwhile, Nebo who visited two of the project locations of NASENI in Karshi, Abuja, and Gada-Mada in Nasarawa State stated that the agency has grown its expertise in the development of renewable energy sources like solar and small hydro.

He explained that with NASENI's strides in renewable energy generation, the government was confident of attaining a 10 per cent renewable energy generation target set for year 2020.

While observing that that NASENI has an impressive due diligence methodology and quality control mechanism to limit the use of sub-standard solar powered facilities in the country, Nebo said: "NASENI should be given all it takes for it to harness its potentials for solar and small hydro, as a way of growing the nation's renewable energy mix, adding that such off-grid energy could be deployed to provide power to the rural areas."

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Source: AllAfrica

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