Businesses in the country spend an estimated $14 billion (about N5 trillion) annually importing, fuelling and maintaining generators, the Executive Director, Rural Electrification Funds at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Sanusi Ohiare has said.
In his presentation on off grid and mini grid goals of the agency, at the recent 4th National Council on Power (NACOP) in Benin City, Edo state Dr. Ohiare said, “We thought that if we wanted to replace these technologies which is not efficient in terms of cost; if we wanted to go for cleaner and sustainable energy from renewable sources, we have potentially an investment of about $9.2bn annually (about N3.2trn).”
He said the agency sees this challenge as an opportunity for investments to provide access to cheaper electricity.
“We want to channel that generator investment into renewables. There is a high potential for scaling up mini grids which is creating independent generation and distribution in different places especially in rural areas,” Ohiare explained.
As part of efforts to promote increased access to electricity, REA in 2017 began processes to energise various markets in Nigeria in what it terms Energising Economies Programme. The projects include about 37,000 shops at the Ariaria market in Aba, Abia state; Sabon gari market in Kano state; Sura Shopping Complex and Shomolu Printing community in Lagos state.
Speaking for the DisCos, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy at the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Chief Sunday Oduntan said investors of the distribution firms have their expansion plan to extend electricity to un-served rural areas.
He said it is part of its business continuity plan which is approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for the first five years after the privatisation of the sector in 2013.
President of the Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria (SEPAN), Dr. Magnus Onuoha has urged government to provide the enabling environment to deploy solar to tackle defect in energy access.
In his presentation at a technical session during the four day programme, the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed spoke on projections for transmission infrastructure delivery in Nigeria to raise energy wheeling capacity from the present 7,124 megawatts (MW).
He said, “When we came to TCN last year February, TCN was the weakest link in the power sector value chain. We worked very hard to reposition TCN and we are no more the weakest link.