To ensure that 20 million Africans including Nigerians who do not have access to modern, clean and affordable electricity are provided with one very soon, a multi-stakeholders taskforce was on Thursday inaugurated in Abuja to push through the objective.
Populated with top players and influencers in the Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) market like the Power for All, US Global Development Lab, Power Africa, USAID-Nigeria, and FHI360, the taskforce will be seeking to accelerate the deployment of modern energy access to these un-electrified Africans.
A statement obtained by OGN shortly after the launch of the taskforce in Abuja, explained that it is comprised of over 32 members drawn from amongst government, donors, renewable energy companies, development finance institutions, investors, civil society organizations, and trade associations.
The statement also stated that the collaboration was formed under the Scaling Off Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development – a partnership upon which the 20 million households in Sub-Saharan Africa could gain access to modern, clean and affordable electricity.
According to the statement, DRE solutions which could be used to achieve this objective range from stand-alone systems to mini-grids and mobile solar farms. It noted that they have the advantage of being readily available, affordable and immediately deployable.
“This allows the delivery of energy access in a number of days – versus the years it takes to site, permit, build and manage a traditional centralized fossil fuel grid system – and can be an important tool for Nigeria to better exploit the full range of its renewable energy resources, especially with delivering energy to last-mile communities,” it said.
It further said that the taskforce was a coordination group formed to identify and implement a multi-stakeholder approach to accelerating the end of energy poverty in Nigeria, adding that its goals include identifying priorities, supporting specific stakeholder-led actions that will accelerate the expansion of off-grid energy in Nigeria.
“This is in line with the goals and vision of the Nigerian government’s commitment towards increasing power access in Nigeria and increasing the rate of electrification to rural areas,” it added.
It stated that the taskforce would also builds on Power for All’s Call to Action which was happened in March 2017, and at which DRE stakeholders made individual credible commitments to take action in support of and to accelerate the DRE market.
Speaking on the development, Roseann Casey, Nigeria lead for Power Africa, said: “Power Africa’s approach is based on partnership. We value the opportunity to be part of this important dialogue with diverse stakeholders who are eager to find both opportunities and solutions in the off-grid space.”
Also, Christina Blumel of FHI 360, stated: “We are very happy to have the opportunity to work with Power for All in launching the Task Force, and to see the engagement and enthusiasm around DRE in Nigeria.”
The statement also quoted Kristina Skierka, the CEO of Power For All to have said: “There are numerous barriers that have prevented the Nigerian DRE sector from growing to its full potential.”
Skierka, added: “The launch of this taskforce is certainly the beginning of an energy revolution that gets partners and stakeholders in the industry, working together to unlock these barriers, accelerate the market and provide energy services to last mile communities trapped in energy poverty across Nigeria for years.”
Segun Adaju, who heads the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), equally said in the statement that: “The DRE taskforce is coming at the very right time to support scaling of off-grid energy. It will support in removing the barriers that have held back the adoption of off-grid power by bringing the relevant stakeholders.”