In spite of the huge challenges faced in the renewable energy space in Nigeria, a renewable energy advocate and promoter of Power for All, Ify Malo has disclosed that Nigeria can achieve 60 percent rural electrification target by 2020.
Malo who is the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Clean Technology Hub Inc said ‘’The target is feasible, but a lot will need to be done from both the government and the private sector.’’
She noted that for starters, the government will need to design and implement policies that will lower the cost of Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) solutions, such as removing tariffs and duties on imported solar components and products. And will also need to operationalize the Rural Electrification Fund which is meant to subsidise rural electrification projects such as mini-grids.
She affirmed that the Federal and state Governments need to be more proactive on using DRE to increase the rural electrification rates in their domains by partnering with mini-grid developers to invest in projects.
‘’These partnerships can be through domiciling the relevant laws and policies that will drive investments into their states, providing part-funding for mini-grid projects and simplifying the ease of doing business for developers such as through providing land for projects. This was the crux of our Scaling Off Grid Energy project through which we have been able to speak to policymakers from 18 state governments on the need to mainstream DRE solutions into their state electrification plans. She stated
‘’Also on the private sector side, there is need for the finance sector to recognize the immense potentials in the mini-grids sector and offer the right funding that will catalyze the sector and unlock it.’’
She confirmed that if properly harnessed the Solar Home Systems will save Nigeria about $4.4 billion a year through savings in spending on fuel for expensive generating sets for homes and small businesses.
Stressing that a lot of our petrol consumption is not by vehicles, but by energy-deficient homes and businesses for powering small generators that we popularly call “I beta pass my neighbor”. These generators are not just expensive, but they are also polluting and inefficient. Replacing these generators with solar home systems greatly reduces the spending by these homes and businesses; on a macro scale, they save Nigeria about N1.5 trillion yearly.
She said that Power for All supports the government through policy advocacy on how to increase access to energy through decentralised renewable energy. Power for All engaged with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in its drafting of the Mini-Grid Regulations, which are regarded as one of the best in the world.