France invites Nigeria to $1trn league of ‘sunshine countries’

Pledges soft loans to Nigerian banks for RE projects

France has asked Nigeria to get committed to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a league of 107 countries with immense solar power resource, and institutional backing to massively exploit it.

It also requested that the country join the Global Alliance of Buildings for the Climate it launched with the United Nations Environmental Programme to improve energy efficiency practices in the construction sector.

French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denis Guaer said at the ongoing Nigeria Alternative Energy Expo (NAEE) in Abuja that his country wants Nigeria to become a part of these two global renewable energy advocacy bodies for the benefits it will derive from them.

He said this while disclosing that the French Development Agency (AFB) was working on a financial framework to provide soft loans to Nigerians banks to support renewable energy projects and promoters in the country.

Guaer said existing conditions in Nigeria indicate that she was ready and open to renewable energy business. He added that several French multinational firms have also indicated their willingness to invest in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector.

“There cannot be any diversification without energy, Nigeria must give priority to renewable energy, those are the solutions for the future,” said Guaer.

Speaking on his country’s request to Nigeria to join ISA and the Global Alliance of Building for the Climate, Guaer said: “There is the International Solar Alliance which has been launched by France and India with the objective to mobilise financial means in favour of solar energy in the sector of agriculture, Nigeria is not yet formally a member of that alliance, we hope Nigeria will be member of that alliance.

“Then we have another one which is the Global Alliance of Buildings for the Climate launched by France and United Nations Environmental Programme to improve the practices in the construction sector which is responsible for 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emission in the world, we have proposed also to Nigeria to participate in it and we hope it will.”

“The French Development Agency supports the power sector in Nigeria in all its components….and will give soft loans to Nigerian private sector to develop projects in renewable energy,” Guaer added.

Reports indicate the ISA is committed to bringing down the costs of solar power to make it affordable for remote and inaccessible communities.

The ISA which is also seen as an alliance by the developing countries to form a united front and to undertake research and development for making their solar power equipment, plans to mobilise up to $1 trillion investment in solar by 2030.

It on June 30, 2016 reportedly entered into an understanding with the World Bank to accelerate the solar financing plan.

The initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India.