Off-grid operators seek agency for solar power

Solar-Power-Plant-696x522Oscarline Onwuemenyi
01 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Operators in the off-grid electricity space have urged the Federal Government to establish a designated agency that will oversee the activities of players in the power market.

Off-grid electricity operators, particularly those involved in the installation of solar gadgets through which electricity is generated, stated that it was important to have policies in place that would guide the practice in Nigeria.

Speaking at the monthly power sector dialogue organised by Nextier Power in Abuja to discuss pragmatic ideas for developing Nigeria’s electricity market, stakeholders noted that the awareness and acceptance of solar power was increasing and as such there should be specific agency to handle policies for effective management of the sub sector.

The Technical Lead, Solar Nigeria, Mr. Tinyan Ogiehor, highlighted the opportunities and challenges in the off-grid electricity space and proposed policies to tackle the
challenges in the market.

He urged the Federal Government to come up with workable policies, adding that some of them could include “off-grid mapping, technical skills, mobile infrastructure and a designated body to drive the off-grid electricity market.”

The Head, Power and Procurement Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Mr. Yesufu Alonge, said there were huge investment opportunities in the solar energy market due to the electricity supply deficit in Nigeria.

He mentioned dams and other renewable energy sources as good alternatives to stabilise the poor power supply across the country.

The acting Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Anthony Akah, stated that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 only gave the agency the authority to issue licences for power generation over one megawatt and empowered the NERC to set tariffs for operators.

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