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Commission unveils website to accelerate renewable energy growth

The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has launched the first-ever renewable energy web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool to relieve developers and investors of the challenges they encounter when trying to identify practical sites for on-grid renewable electricity from Solar-PV and wind power plants in the country.

Web-based GIS tool
Participants at the launch of the Web-based GIS tool in Abuja

Designed using existing geospatial layers such as grid coverage, human settlements, and public infrastructure, as well as environmentally sensitive areas, the newly unveiled web platform will guide the public, academic research and most importantly any investor looking for potential sites for large-scale on-grid Solar-PV and wind projects sites.

“The tool is of particular interest to the Commission as it assists us in discharging our responsibility for the strategic planning and coordination of the nation’s policies in the field of renewable energy in all its ramifications,” says Prof. Eli Bala, the director-general of the ECN.

Prof. Bala, who made the statement while addressing a multi-sectoral stakeholder during the public presentation of the web tool in Abuja on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, blamed the inability to identify viable potential sites as one of the cardinal reasons responsible for the lack of private sector investment to enhance on-grid and large-scale Solar-PV and wind power projects.

Containing high-resolution energy resource maps for both solar and wind, the ECN boss disclosed that the device also identifies and orders by merit of the cost for renewable energy projects sites all over the country.

He urged the general public to use the website for the sustainable development of the nation’s renewable energy resources for national energy security and climate change mitigation.

During his presentation on “The Development of Nigeria Renewable Energy WebGIS Tool”, the director of linkages, research, and consultancy, ECN, Okon Ekpenyong, explained that the overall aim of the platform is to identify and collect all available data on the spatial mode that could allow public or private investors to handily recognise potential renewable energy sites.

On his part, the head of corporate communications at Galaxy Backbone, Mr. Chidi Okpala, lauded the collaborative effort of the agency to host the tool, describing it as a major milestone achievement that should excite the entire nation.

Galaxy Backbone, according to him, is proud to host the technology and assured Nigerians of it safety and accessibility.

The launch for Mr. Seun Odubore, the chief executive officer of Geosoft, couldn’t have come any other better time than now that the nation is faced with so much haphazard data and information around on-grid and wind power energy resources.

Mr. Odubore believes that the energy problem bedeviling Nigeria can be tackled if the environment is made conducive for investors to come in and expand the space.

“This can be a multi-billion-dollar money-spinner if we know what is and how much of what we have is at given places, investors will troop in,” he said.

The project is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a focus on De-risking Renewable Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for Nigeria’s Power Sector.

It is expected to help develop an interactive Nigeria Renewable Energy Web-based GIS tool to guide the private developer in sitting geographical locations for on-grid PV and wind potential sites and prepare high-resolution solar and wind resource maps of Nigeria.

By Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja

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