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FG scouts for $1.22trillion in ambitious move to generate 178,000MW

Electricity grid.

• Govt Reps, ECN, IRENA Woo Investors, Insist Renewable Energy Plan Is Feasible • Stakeholders Suggest Ways To Sustainable Energy, Development In Nigeria • REmap Sacrosanct To Nation’s Energy Demand —DG, ECN • Plan, Only A Dream — Ex-NERC Boss, Amadi • Nigeria’s Total Renewable Energy Estimated At 30,129.4GW • UN Canvasses Increased Energy Transition Investments To Achieve SDGs

With massive energy deficit, the highest in the world according to statistics, the Federal Government is contemplating a renewable energy plan (REmap) that would generate 178,000MW in its bid to overhaul Nigeria’s energy architecture.

To achieve the ambitious energy plan, the FG is scouting for investors to raise $1.22 trillion to shift its energy sources to renewable, with a projected 178,000 Megawatts of electricity over the next 27 years.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Adeleke Mamora dropped the hint while launching the ambitious plan at the 13th International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly holding in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

While renewable energy generation in the country is currently around 1,000MW, the Federal Government and its partners, especially International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are pitching to global investors the ambitious plan aimed at ending energy poverty, addressing climate change and aiding Nigeria in achieving Paris Agreement projections as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

A senior energy specialist at the World Bank, Mr. Arsh Sharma, relying on a report by the bank, had few months ago stated that Nigeria had the largest energy deficit in Africa, noting that over 90 million people were not connected to the national grid.

Also quoting a World Bank report, a professor of electrical engineering, Professor Evbogbai Edekin of Edo State University, noted that Nigeria has the largest energy deficit in the world. He said the collection of development indicators compiled from official sources in 2018 showed that only 56.5 per cent of Nigerians have access to electricity out of the over 200 million people; meaning that about 97 million Nigerians, representing 43.5 per cent, do not have access to electricity.

Minister Mamora described the proposed plan as “holistic,” disclosing that adopting the new energy option would be beneficial to government and indeed, Nigerians.

Mamora, represented at the programme by Nigerian ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Dansanta Rimi, said that Nigeria’s highly distributed institutional structure of the energy sector means that coordination of policies would be essential to unlocking integrated energy transition planning and ensuring its success.

He said that the Nigerian government would provide the needed environment for investors into the plan. He added that FG would be committed to implementing the roadmap, which came out of a series of other plans on driving renewable energy adoption in Nigeria .

“A cross cutting agency or body tasked with doing so would be helpful in building consensus and developing a coherent plan, which in turn would allow for the scaling up of renewable energy to meet the needs across the Nigerian energy sector,” he added.

The plan was put afoot as the United Nations, also yesterday, asked countries across the world to triple energy transition investment to $4Trillion a year despite the global energy crisis due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. UN made the call as global energy leaders gathered at the 13th Assembly of IRENA in Abu Dhabi, to dialogue on options and assess progress on climate change ahead of Conference of the Parties (COP 28) later this year.

Nigeria currently generates 80 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuel. If FG’s renewable energy plan is realistic, Nigeria would have to dump its 208 trillion standard cubic feet of gas and slow down on its 37 billion barrel oil reserves, as the plan launched at the 13th IRENA Assembly seeks to overhaul the energy architecture in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria’s population is growing very fast and has been projected by the United Nations Population Fund to increase by 3.2 per cent yearly and hit 400 million by 2050.

This development means that the current weak energy infrastructure could push more people into lack of energy amidst dangers of fossil fuel and deforestation.

In a Transforming Energy Scenario (TES), about 92 per cent of energy sources would become renewable at a cost of $35 billion yearly, the new road map projected, even as IRENA estimated the technical potential for solar photovoltaic (PV) in Nigeria to be 210 Gigawatts as only one per cent of the suitable land could be utilised for project development.

The technical potential for wind was estimated at 3.2GW while large hydro potential was estimated at 4GW. Small hydro potential was put at 3.5GW, biofuel was projected at 29,800GW and CSP was put at 88.7 Gigawatts. These projections brought Nigeria’s total renewable energy estimation to 30,129.4GW. DIRECTOR General of IRENA, Francesco La Camera stressed the need to harness untapped renewable energy resources in Nigeria.

La Camera, while expressing optimism over the road map, stated that the deal could provide sustainable energy for all its citizens in a cost-effective manner. “Nigeria has a unique opportunity to develop a sustainable energy system based on renewables that support socioeconomic recovery and development, while addressing climate challenges and accomplishing energy security,” he said.

Director General of ECN, Eli Bala noted that the public private investment model would be adopted for the REmap, as “the government can not do it alone.”

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