The Chief Executive Officer of Clean Technology Hub, Mrs Ifeoma Malo, has urged the Federal Government to harness renewable energy resources to address challenges in the power sector.
Renewable energy is from a source that is not depleted when used and is naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.
Malo made the call at a two-day conference on “Tech Meets Renewable Energy’’ organised by Clean Technology Hub, an energy innovation centre, in Abuja on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
She stressed the need to think beyond the grid or building of power plant to drive energy access to solve electricity challenges as well as assist small businesses to grow.
According to her, harnessing renewable energy, which is easier to spread, will boost the country’s electricity supply.
According to Malo, it takes an average of nine to 10 years to build a power plant, unlike renewable energy that takes about nine months to construct.
She noted with concern that there were plants built that had not been commissioned as a result of non-availability of gas to power them or enough coal to fire them.
“However, with renewable energy, you do not have that kind of problem, it takes only about nine months to build a mini grid or a macro grid and this can supply electricity to deep rural communities.
“Once people have electricity, you begin to see new cottage industries, small businesses and artisans working so they do not have to buy generators or worry about buying fuel,” she said.
Malo said that the conference was conceived out of the fact that about 60 per cent of Nigerians did not have access to electricity.
“The whole idea is to think beyond the grid and see how we can drive energy access to reach 60 per cent of those that does not have electricity using the renewable energy.’’
In his remarks, Mr Chibuikem Agbaegbu, the Country Manager, African Clean Energy Technical Assistant Facility, said that renewable energy had become a viable solution to the energy challenges in Nigeria.
Agbaegbu said that there were a lot of communities in the country that were powered using solely renewable energy.
He said that the conference was organised to proffer ways of developing local energy solutions to solve electricity problems and help small businesses to grow.
Also speaking, Mr Faiz Mohammed, the Communications Director, Network of Incubators and innovators in Nigeria, said that the conference was aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs, especially those with interest in renewable energy.
According to Mohammed, the idea is to find solution on how to improve their businesses.
By Constance Imasuen