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Wanted: $30b yearly for energy development

Wanted: $30b yearly for energy development

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The Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, yesterday said because of the huge energy infrastructure deficit, about $30billion is required yearly to meet the country’s energy demand.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) training workshop in Abuja, the DG said  60 per cent of the yearly energy demand is going to electric power.

Nigeria, like most nations, according to him, requires and desires for economic and social development, which are driven by adequate, secured, cost-effective and environmentally acceptable energy supply.

He said: “Huge infrastructure (deficit) estimated to cost about $30billion annually between 2014 and 2043, is however required to meet Nigeria’s energy demand to support its long term aspirations, with 60 per cent going to power electricity.”

He noted that the infrastructure needed should, however, be renewable energy and energy efficiency based in order to ensure sustainable development in line with national commitment to global obligations to climate change mitigation.

Bala said in line with the nation’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), the need should be private sector driven.

The ECN chief however said, for effective funding by private sector, the project proposals must be bankable.

He added that bankable proposals are dependent on reliable and acceptable data obtained from international best practices and institutions.

This, according to Bala, was the significance of the training.

On the essence of the training, he said it is on renewable energy statistics, which imply the availability of all information (data, law) in internationally acceptable manner to assist in planning.

He said renewable energy is a resource that is environmentally friendly and replenishes itself within a reasonable short time and through a natural process.

Bala said the workshop was organised by the IRENA based in Abu Dabhi based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in colloboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the ECN in Abuja.

He said: “Our projection by 2030, if the economy is to grow by seven per cent, we need nothing less than 100,000Mw. And if the economy is to grow by double digit, we need nothing less than 300,000Mw. Therefore that 30 gigawatt that is now in our plan should be 30 per cent renewable and it is still low.”

Bala said currently, there is 12,000Mw installed capacity, of which about 50 per cent is available in the country. Of this capacity, the large hydro is contributing about 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said to bridge the gap and improve access, the government is working to increase the contribution of renewable energy to 30 per cent of country’s energy mix for electricity production capacity 30,000Mw by 2030.

Represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary’ Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, he said the National Rural Electricity Programme is now renewable energy driven through off-grid programmes.

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