…To deliver 30% of energy mix with renewable sources
By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Federal Government has approved tax waivers and other forms of incentives for companies engaged in renewable components manufacturing plants in the country.
Minister of Power Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, unveiled government’s plan to stimulate growth of the renewable energy sector at the launch of a book titled ‘‘Solar Electricity Generation for Off-Grid Communities In Nigeria’’ authored by the Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Oladele Amoda.
Fashola explained that the Nigerian government in a bid to encourage investment in solar and other forms of renewable energy has revised its pioneer status eligibility to include solar home systems, batteries and all components necessary to delivering solar panel systems.
‘‘It is better to invest in solar because it helps to reduce pressure on infrastructure if everyone could afford to have his or her own system.
So for those who are still thinking whether or not to come and manufacture or not, the policy support for you to enjoy pioneer status for solar and all of the components that are necessary to do it is already in place,’’ he said.
Fashola explained that Nigeria’s energy production has grown from 2,700 mega watts (MW) in 2015 to 7,000mw now, while its wheeling capacity has equally increased to close to 7000mw, adding that, what the sector needed to do now was to knuckle down and expand the distribution capacity.
On the contrary, he maintained that, even if all of the capacity is put together, it won’t be enough because it is only those on the grid system that will benefit from such power as grid extension and expansion is a very capital intensive business.
And this is where solar becomes the real energy of today to help us quickly close up the communities where it is much more expensive to connect and more difficult to try to connect.
Solar systems and solar home systems and mini grids will help us quickly get there. And that is why we are committed to contract because we are signatories to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. And this is part of the way we can fulfill our global and international commitments,” Fashola said.
The Minister said the country was targeting to deliver about 30 percent of its energy mix and make it deliverable through renewable sources as contained in the energy mix and investment document launched in Kaduna last year.
Earlier in his remarks, Amoda said the book was meant to serves two purposes; continue to raise awareness about alternative energy sources, and the challenges faced by those in the rural setting who have no access to grid electricity.
He said the country cannot afford to depend on fossil fuel which is not without its attendant effects, especially in relation to environmental hazards.
On the other hand, he said the book was meant to support indigent students and budding entrepreneurs who are constrained to achieve their dreams due to funding challenges, explaining that proceeds realised from the launch and sale of the book would be channeled to this course.