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‘Nigeria needs policies to drive renewable energy’

‘Nigeria needs policies to drive renewable energy’

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‘Femi Asu

the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Asteven Group, Dr. Sunny Akpoyibo, has said the Federal Government will need to develop policies that specifically seek to encourage a massive adoption of renewable energy in the country.

Akpoyibo expressed concern about the lack of adequate power supply in the country, which he described as one of the greatest threats to the nation’s development.

He said at the launch of Asteven Renewable Energy Academy and Centre of Excellence in Ogun State that the government had put in significant effort and resources to improve energy access in the country.

He, however, said, “In spite of these huge efforts, it is unacceptable that about 60 per cent of Nigerians still do not have access to modern forms of energy. It is also worrisome that about 94 per cent of the population with access depend hugely on fossil fuel generators, kerosene, wood fuel, etc.

“Renewable energy holds the key to changing this dependence. Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015, the world is travelling in this direction. The government has demonstrated its commitment not to be left behind by ratifying the agreement and submitting ambitious nationally determined contributions where renewable energy plays an important role in meeting a significant proportion of the emissions target.”

According to him, the passing of the Climate Change Bill by both the House of Representatives and the Senate is a demonstration of how seriously the Federal Government takes the issue of climate change.

Akpoyibo said, “Thanks to the efforts of this administration, we are witnessing some successes in the adoption of renewable energy technologies to provide both decentralised off-grid and individual solutions. While they show our capabilities and the opportunities in the sector, challenges still remain to be overcome.

He said the challenges included the negative perception surrounding off-grid solutions and the limited awareness of the benefits of renewable energy.

The Asteven CEO said, “To encourage a massive adoption of renewable energy technologies, the government will need to develop policies that specifically seek to encourage the subsector rather than comparing it to other well-established traditional fossil fuel based subsectors.

“The initial high cost of installing and deploying solar solutions whether for home systems, off-grid or mini-grids have proved challenging and the traditional sources of funds such as the banks and financial houses need to understand the peculiarities of financing solar energy technologies.”

Akpoyibo said the lack of technical competence and capacity had also impeded the development of the sector as opportunities for job creation were taken elsewhere.

He said Asteven Group and its five subsidiaries were established to support the Federal Government in addressing the challenges.

“It needs private sector players. The group is a significant player across the entire value chain of renewable energy and operates in five African countries. We are into Research and Development, manufacturing and deployment of renewable energy technologies. We are building the largest solar tunnel in Africa to power streetlights in Kwara State, and have deployed over 20,000 solar home systems to communities across Nigeria.

“Today, we gather here to inaugurate the first phase of the Asteven Renewable Energy Academy and Centre of Excellence. The academy was born out of a necessity to develop local capacity, change the course of power access in Nigeria and increase job creation,” Akpoyibo said.

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