The Federal Government has restated its commitment to continue to support all efforts that will lead to an increase in the contribution of renewable energy to Nigeria’s energy supply mix.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Adeleke Mamora made this assertion during the national workshop on awareness creation on the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Nigeria study report organised by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with the agency in Abuja.
Mamora highlighted that the REMAP report on Nigeria demonstrates how renewable energy resources can be integrated and scaled up to achieve a sustainable energy mix for both on-and off-grid electricity, as well as for fuel, while meeting the nation’s growing energy needs to support sustainable development.
“I gather that it provides analyses of the energy types and quantities currently utilised in all sectors of the economy, namely; residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and transport. Also, it predicts how energy types and quantities may evolve under various economic scenarios up to 2050. This assessment by IRENA is timely, given the Government of Nigeria’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gases by 20 per cent unconditionally and 47 per cent conditionally by 2030, as well as to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, as expressed at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
The minister, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Monilola Udoh stressed that energy transition to low or net-zero or no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions energy system can be operationalised only through the instrumentality of science, technology and innovation, as well as scaling-up the innovated technologies and processes through adequate investments.
“The REMAP – Nigeria report by IRENA is, therefore, commendable. It will not only support us in the review of our National Energy Policy and plans, it will indeed facilitate the attraction of foreign direct investments into the country for the transformation of our renewable energy sources for improved access to clean energy for development,” he added.
Giving the background of the report, the director-general, ECN, Prof. Eli Bala, elucidated that the REMAP programme set up by IRENA as its flagship in 2014 aims to support member states to explore how best to unlock renewable energy potentials in their countries while ensuring tremendous sustainable growth.
IRENA, established in 2009, is an intergovernmental agency with 167 member states and the European Union, with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to him, so far, IRENA has conducted REMAP studies for many member states, including the USA, South Africa, the Central African Republic, Germany, China, UAE, etc. REMAP study report supports and facilitates local and foreign investments in the renewable energy sector in member states given the international credibility of IRENA.
The ECN boss stated that being one of the pioneer members of the intergovernmental agency, Nigeria through the Energy Commission of Nigeria in 2017, keyed into the REMAP programme.
“Nigeria, through ECN, keyed into the IRENA Remap programme and IRENA knowledge office in Bonn, Germany, took an officer of ECN in 2019, for three months, to work on preliminary baseline information on renewable energy in Nigeria. In 2020, a stakeholders’ workshop was held in Abuja organised by ECN in collaboration with IRENA, where IRENA experts came physically to present the baseline information gathered at their disposal to stakeholders for validation.
“The REMAP-Nigeria study report is now ready to be presented to stakeholders for awareness creation before it is launched at the IRENA General Assembly coming up in January 2023 in Abu Dhabi, UAE in line with IRENA’s processes. Consequently, ECN in collaboration with IRENA has organised this workshop to create awareness on the REMAP-Nigeria report to stakeholders in Nigeria,” he added.
Bala expressed the hope that the report by IRENA will not only complement Nigeria’s existing national policies and plans on renewable energy but also give confidence to foreign and local investors to come to explore and scale up the use of cleaner energy resources to enhance access to electricity and fuels for national development and climate change mitigation.
In his remarks, the senior programme officer and REMAP team lead at IRENA, Ricardo Gorini said Nigeria has a unique opportunity to develop a suitable energy system based on renewable energy resources that could support socio-economic recovery and development while addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Gorini posited that the study provides a concrete renewable focus for the development of a cleaner and more sustainable national energy system. This was even as he noted that the approach presents the option for rapid expansion of renewable generation, as well as the adoption of technology.