Nigeria Launches First Renewable Energy Web-based GIS Tool

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A cross section of stakeholders at the launch in Abuja.

Nigeria has launched the first-ever Nigeria Renewable Energy Web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool aimed at assisting developers/investors identify practical sites for on-grid renewable electricity from solar and wind power plants in Nigeria.

Speaking at the launch today (December 7) in Abuja, the director-general of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Eli Bala, pointed out that the tool was developed to address the biggest worry of private investors in the on-grid/large-scale solar PV and wind power sector – the identification of viable potential sites.

He said the ‘tool’ was developed to address the challenge.

“The tool is of particular interest to the commission, as it assists us in the discharge of our responsibility for the strategic planning and coordination of the nation’s policies in the energy sector. At the same time, it helps us perform some of our basic functions like serving as a centre for gathering and disseminating information relating to national policies in the field of energy development.

“We serve as a centre for solving inter-related technical problems that may arise in the implementation of policies relating to energy, advise the various tiers of government on questions relating to such aspects of energy and recommend the exploitation of new energy sources,” he said.

The tool was developed by Gesto Energy Consulting under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN).

According to him, the launch was to publicly present the tool with the domain name hosted in Nigeria by Galaxy Backbone. He urged Nigerians to make full use of the tools for the sustainable development of Nigeria’s renewable energy resources for national energy security and climate change mitigation in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Earlier in his presentation ‘Development of a GIS-based tool for identifying the practicable sites for various renewable energy resources in Nigeria’ the ECN’s director of linkages, research and consultancy, Engr. Okon Ekpenyong said the overall objective is to identify and collect all available data on the spatial model and develop a GIS-based tool that could enable public or private investors to more conveniently identify potential renewable energy sites, namely solar PV and wind projects.

He further listed the specific objectives develop a GIS-based tool to guide public and private developers on sitting geographical locations for PV and wind projects across Nigeria based on a multicriteria analysis; prepare high-resolution energy resource maps for both solar and wind resources available in Nigeria and identify and order by merit of the least cost of energy (LCOE) the renewable energy projects identified all over the country.

In an exclusive chat with Science Nigeria, the chief executive officer, Geosoft Solutions Limited, Mr. Seun Odubore, said the project has come at no better time than now, there are so much disjointed data and information here and there.

“We say Nigeria is rich but we only focus on oil and gas. This can be a multibillion-dollar money spinner of Nigeria. When we know what is and how much of what we have is at given places, investors will troop in.

“The major challenge in Nigeria has been energy because we are plagued with power failure but with this power, failure will be a thing of the past. It will turn around the development, socioeconomic, technological and whatever facet of development Nigeria desire will come in a very short time,” he added.

Similarly, the head, corporate communications, Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Chidi Okpala, said the agency is proud to provide the platform for hosting/deployment of the technology, even as he commended the choice of the commission to host the data locally, adding Nigeria is sure the data hosted is secure and accessible.

He lauded the collaborative effort of the agency is hosting the platform in Nigeria, stressing it is an achievement Nigeria should be proud of.

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