EUROPEAN Union (EU) officials have approved the sum of €165m to support Nigeria’s renewable energy programme as part of a plan to assist the country in combating its chronic electricity problems.
Power supply is one of the biggest challenges Nigeria is currently facing as the country only generates about 7,000MW and of this only about 4,000MW is transmitted. With the country needing at least 50,000MW to meet demand, this shortage has resulted in severe power cuts, with most people providing their own electricity via private generators.
With the rest of the world moving towards clean energy, Nigeria is being encouraged to invest in renewable power like solar and wind. Ketil Karslen, the head of the EU delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), said all was set for the funds to support the aspirations of the federal government to improve electricity supply and grow the economy.
He said the EU set a target of 32% for its 28 member countries to provide renewable energy by 2030. According to Mr Karslen, although the target appears ambitious, it will, nevertheless, enable Africa, especially Nigeria, to improve its renewable activities for economic growth.
Mr Karlsen said: “More than 80m people in Nigeria are outside the grid electricity bracket, a development, which has affected the growth of businesses and families. This implies that Africa and Nigeria, in particular, has a long way to go in the areas of creation, developing and usage of electricity.
“This is the reason why the EU is supporting power initiatives in counties in Africa and beyond. Nigeria has a huge population and this informed the decision by EU to support its renewable programme.
“Renewable is the energy for the future because it is clean, affordable and provide a conducive habitats for the people. If EU did not set an ambitious target for European countries, in order to motivate Africa to action, it would be difficult for the world to attain a very high standard in the area of provision of electricity.”
According to Mr Karslen, the world is changing, so is every facet of human endeavours. This, he said, meant that the world must embrace the technology, which would help in providing solar and other renewables.
Nigeria’s population, he added, is growing rapidly, stressing that the development implied that the future generation of the country must create revenue that would help sustain growth. Mr Karslen added that this is the reason why the EU is calling on individuals, communities, states and the federal government to give renewable energy priority in order to achieve much needed economic growth.