By Martins Eke
THE ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) and the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP) were adopted by the ECOWAS Member States in October 2012 and the ECOWAS Heads of States on 18 July 2013. The policy documents were prepared with technical support from the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and a broad range of international partners. The policies include minimum targets and scenarios for renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) and measures, standards and incentives to be implemented at both regional and national levels.The EREP foresees the development of National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) by all fifteen ECOWAS member states. Nigeria has prepared its National Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Nigeria’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan presents the expected development and expansion of renewable energy in Nigeria in order to achieve the national target under the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP), and thus Nigeria’s contribution to the overall ECOWAS target of 23% and 31% renewable energy in 2020 and 2030. It contains existing and currently planned measures, with which the national target is to be achieved. The National Renewable Energy Action Plan was prepared in accordance with section 4 of the EREP. Through its extensive and detailed character, the National Action Plan is a key document for the Federal Government’s promotion of renewable energy and supports its policy objectives of security of supply, climate protection, competitiveness, promotion of technology and innovation, as well as securing and providing electricity access to the populace of Nigeria.
Nigeria is establishing a financial/economic instrument framework that provides long-term, comprehensive and targeted support for renewable technologies. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on behalf of the Federal Government is looking at establishing a system of feed-in tariffs in electricity, as well as other incentives in order to ensure that the country’s greater ambitions for renewable energy are supported and have the required investment. In addition to this support, Nigeria is looking into the possibility of a Green Fund supported by Green Bonds to help fund the introduction of renewable energy. As part of the creation of these schemes, financial products will be created to provide individuals with opportunities to invest in the infrastructure needed to support the growing renewable energy market in Nigeria. It is not only the generation companies (GenCos) and the distribution companies (DisCos) which will see benefits from higher levels of renewables, the Federal Government through relevant agencies will be providing opportunities for communities and businesses to benefit through the promotion of community-owned renewable energy schemes as well. The rural electrification strategy provides the opportunity for communities to host renewable energy projects.
This way, local people will benefit from the local energy resources they are harnessing and the power they are producing. The Federal Government of Nigeria through relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies will also be taking steps to identify barriers and address those issues that affect the timely deployment of established renewable technologies such as: the planning system and public acceptance; regulatory matters and supply chains; connection to the grid; and availability and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy sources. However, the frequent lack of co-operation and tussle for ownership that have characterized Government MDAs over time is capable of acting as a clog in the implementation wheel of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan. To prevent this, it is necessary to categorically spell out the duty of each MDA directly involved with implementing the policy.
The Federal Ministry of Power is responsible for overall energy policy formulation and supervision of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Rural Electrification Agency, National Power Training Institute, and Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is responsible for overall water matters and policy development especially in managing dams for large, medium, and small scale hydro projects. The Federal Ministry of Environment is in charge of overall policy development on climate change, impact of energy use on environment and mitigating strategies. The Federal Ministry of Housing is responsible for overall policy development in sustainable housing and in leading the development of the building code for Nigeria.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) is responsible for promoting a legal level playing field in the electricity market and issuing of licenses to renewable energy operators whilst the Rural Electrification Agency promotes standard and quality living in rural areas by providing affordable electricity supply. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, (NBET) is responsible for buying power from Independent Power Projects and reselling the power to the distribution companies (DisCos) and eligible customers Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are responsible for buying and distributing electricity across the country. Transmission System Provider of Nigeria is licensed for electricity transmission, system operation and electricity trading in Nigeria.
System Operator (SO) is also responsible for the overall security and reliability of the grid system, economic dispatch of available generation resources and maintaining system stability. The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is a federal government entity tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that all products (imported and manufactured in Nigeria) adhere to stipulated standards.
The aim of categorically spelling out the mandate of each MDA directly involved with implementing the NREAP is not for each to build a fence around itself but to ensure synergy in their working relationships.
Eke is the Programme Officer, Environment at Centre for Social Justice, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja