According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), electricity is a required input for economic growth and an indicator of the level of development of a country. A successful economy would depend on a reliable, affordable, and efficient supply of electricity put to productive use.
At the renewable energy access roadshow event held in Benin City, Edo State on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, that highlighted business opportunities within the renewable energy space and included capacity-building sessions for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises to equip them with information on facilitating business growth.
The organizers of the event, the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) in collaboration with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in The Niger Delta (PIND) disclosed that it will support 20 developers of solar energy in Edo State to grow and expand. This initiative will be carried out with the help of the Edo State Investment Promotion Office which will identify the 20 developers. The support package also involves mentorship of these developers and access to finance aimed at improving their capacity to supply energy to rural communities.
Other benefits of the initiative were stated by one of the guest speakers of the roadshow, Mr. Justin Tinsey, Vice President, of Procurement Solutions, Odyssey Energy.
Justin said that his company’s participation in the renewable energy sector in Nigeria is to help the sector expand across Nigeria particularly as it relates to the procurement of equipment.
According to him, “It was very costly to procure renewable energy equipment if you are a small solar installer in Nigeria. You have to pay a supplier very far away in China and you have to pay them 100 percent before the equipment ships. You have to pay them in dollars and you have forex issues.
“My company is here to help with those solutions. You can pay my company as low as 10 percent if you are a member of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN). We import everything for you and then you pay us after it comes to Nigeria, ” Justin noted.
This development is in line with Governor Obaseki’s reforms, particularly on the ease of doing business. Edo State is working to effectively harness solar energy resources and integrate them with other energy resources, and promote the use of efficient solar energy conversion technologies, such as the use of photo-voltaic and concentrated solar panels for power generation.
For the solar market, the Edo State Government represented by the Managing Director of Ease of Doing Business Secretariat (ESIPO), Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi suggested that the state is willing to grant policy incentives, such as tax holidays, facilitate import duty exemptions for equipment and investment tax credits to complement existing Federal Government incentives such as feed-in tariff; guaranteed market; priority grid connection and off-take; simplified licensing/permit process; concessionary tariff rates and facilitated land acquisition/site access” for energy investors.
Mr. Ayo Ademilua, President of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, stated that there was a high degree of correlation between energy use, economic growth, and the level of development. Climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions and turbulence in oil and gas prices, according to him, has turned global attention to green energy sources, which are environmentally friendly, the major components of green energy sources are renewable energy sources.
It is sufficient to state that the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Edo State will address some of the economic challenges business people experience that is highlighted above. Green energy/renewable energy are cleaner sources of energy and therefore are sustainable forms of energy. Renewable energy can continuously be harvested because they are inexhaustible in supply and have been considered by most developing countries as an essential component of extending access to affordable energy.