28 January 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Stakeholders in the renewable energy sector have warned that Nigeria is falling behind in the quest to expand renewable energy options and improve power generation and livelihood for millions of people in the country.
Speaking at a forum on expanding opportunities for renewable energy in the country, the former Director-General, Energy Commission and former Vice Chairman, World Energy Council, Abubakar Sambo said with the implementation of renewable energy policy, the country would be more secured for sustainable growth and development.
He said Nigeria was seriously lagging in the implementation of renewable energy policies, noting that in years to come, the country may not be better placed to compete favourably with other countries, even in the continent.
According to him, “If you go to other countries of the world, you will lament over Nigeria, the giant of Africa, because it is really weighed down by the scale of globalisation.”
He said other African countries are far ahead of us in terms of renewable energy policy implementation including Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Liberia, Kenya and South Africa.
He added that renewable energy is a subject that has to be deployed in all countries of the world including Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Council for Renewable Energy of Nigeria (CREN) has said solar energy can provide electricity for about 90 million Nigerians. This will speed up business investments in the country and create opportunities for employment, it added.
The President of the council, Anita Okuribido, said ‘’when people are sure that they could get 24 hours of electricity supply from off-grid sources such as solar, they would buy into it.Therefore, we need to be producing solar panels in quantum in-country.
“It goes beyond looking for power production from solar, we should really take it seriously and invite solar panel manufacturers and experts from Germany, China, and other countries of the world to come and establish their companies here in Nigeria,” she said.
The United Nations had warned that by the end of the millennium there would be no fossil fuel, therefore, this is the time to actually prepare for that period when all of us would certainly go into renewable energy to produce electricity, she said.
Speaking on the theme: Renewable energy development – Option for sustainable investment, Okuribido stressed the commitment of the council to ensure appropriate implementation of renewable energy technologies in the country, adding the council would address the challenges of awareness, availability and cost.
She also said the council would create public awareness and foster the emerging availability of reliable, economically viable renewable energy systems by supporting policy information and implementation, research, development and use of such systems.
According to her, the council would facilitate the planning and partnerships necessary to achieve large-scale, renewable energy implementation in the country, adding it would enhance government and public awareness of renewable energy technologies.
She said efforts are ongoing to advance renewable energy curriculum development in primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions, enhance renewable energy initiatives of its members as well as establish a strong member base representative of all renewable energy stakeholders.