Nigeria is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, hydro-power, biomass, geothermal, ocean waves and tides – Despite this, the nation continues to grapple with substantial electricity deficit. To bridge the gap and improve access, the Federal Government is currently working to increase the contribution of renewable energy to 30 per cent of the country’s energy mix for electricity production capacity of 30 GW by year 2030 – electricity vision 30:3030.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day technical training on renewable energy statistics for energy statisticians from the West African region organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), in Abuja, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Nigerian government is making significant progress in harnessing the nation’s renewable energy sector to contribute more significantly to its power sector. “I wish to state in clear terms that the drive and determination to promote the adoption and use of renewable energy in our national development strive prompted Nigeria to join IRENA as a founding member.
This is reflected in our energy policy, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as well as the science and technology policy and road-map document. “In addition, the Federal Government has established four R&D centers focusing on renewable energy and also many universities and polytechnics have also created own RE centers. All these efforts have resulted into significant renewable energy adoption,” he said. Onu also said the nation’s national rural electricity program is now renewable energy driven through off-grid programs, adding the renewable energy along with energy efficiency are the spinal strategy in the national road-map to deliver SE4ALL in Nigeria and to meet the nation’s climate obligations through the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). “To accomplish the above enumerated national plans and programs, reliable data and information are prerequisite.
For policy to be smart and plan deliverable, they must be hinged on evidence-based studies, which in turn depend on accurate statistics. It is the commitment to energy statistics that our prompted government through the ECN partners with IRENA to conduct the “pilot testing of the residential wood-fuel supplementary module in Nigeria” using the questionnaire developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and also to host this workshop for the West Africa Region,” he added. Onu represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr Bitrus Bako encouraged participants from the region to exploit the forum to network and consolidate the exiting regional platforms and programs whose success lies on comprehensive and accurate energy information, saying the coordinated and concerted efforts in these directions should definitely enhance the West African regional energy development, self-sufficiency and security, and strategically position it in the intra-Africa trade and planned singe market.
However, for effective funding by the private sector, project proposals must be bankable. Indeed, bankable proposals are dependent on reliable and acceptable data obtained from international best practices and institutions.” In his remarks, an energy and information system and databases expert with the African Energy Commission (AFREC), Mr Abdoulaye Queddo, said the training would help improve the availability and quality of national renewable energy statistics, and cowver topics including an introduction to energy statistics and energy balances; assessment of data needs and capacity; data collection and measurement techniques; the IRENA questionnaire and statistical products; data dissemination; and the current status of renewable energy statistics in countries (country presentations).