Take a good leap of faith, subsidise RE sector, SEPAN urges Nigeria’s government

The Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria (SEPAN) has asked Nigeria’s federal government to take a bold leap of faith towards cutting the level of energy poverty in the country by extending to the renewable energy sector and projects some of the many financial interventions it has created in the power sector.

The association assured the government that if it does, the sector could provide up to 10,000 megawatts of electricity to the country by 2021, in addition to millions of jobs that would come with the RE projects.

It said on the average, from every one megawatt of renewable energy deployed, the country would get up to 300,000 new jobs for her citizens.

SEPAN stated that a financial support in the form of that frequently extended to operators in the fossil fuel sector by the government, would create spiralling impacts far more in value than that of its contemporaries.

It however said it was not in competition with the fossil fuel power operators, but its President, Dr. Magnus Onuoha, stated in Abuja that if the government could allocate about N250 billion from the many funding pools available to the sector to the renewable energy sector, it would give Nigeria tangible values.

Onuoha explained that deployment of renewable technologies was an investment in carbon credit, adding that the country stood greater chances to make more returns on investments in renewable energy.

He said claims that renewable energy deployment was expensive were untrue especially when it is considered that the sector and operators do not enjoy any form of support from the government.

Onuoha however said: “We want government to be proactive. Government should give us a level playing ground. The interventions that non-renewable people are enjoying should be extended to the renewable energy practitioners.”

“It is not as if the cost of renewable energy is very high, it is because who do not have the framework to drive the sector,” he added.

According to him: “If those interventions from the CBN, 50 per cent of it is deployed in renewable, we can generate 10,000MW by 2020.”

Onuoha explained that SEPAN has engaged the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to rid the sector of quacks and sub-standard equipment, to boost consumers’ confidence in the sector’s offerings.

He also disclosed that the 2017 SEPAN award and lecture series would be held in Kaduna in July, to honour those pushing for the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria.

On this, he noted that Kaduna was picked to host the meeting because of the works the state had done in renewable energy sector.

The state government, he noted has ensured that three out of the 14 developers that signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the government to generate over 1120MW of solar power are cited in Kaduna.

The award, Onuoha explained would be held in collaboration with the Nigerian chapter of Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE Nigeria).

He listed those to be honoured to include Senator Abdulahi Adamu, Senator Rose Okoh, Hon. Ayo Hulayat Omodiran, Hon. Bede Eke, Mr. Ahmed Sanda, Mr. Adeyemo Segun, Mr. Yusuf Suleiman and Mrs. Patricia Achakpa.

Others he stated are the governors of Kaduna and Cross River States, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai and Prof. Ben Ayade respectively. The Managing Director of First Bank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and the acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju.