#ClimateFinanceNG: Assessing Nigeria’s Potential for Bankable Renewable Energy Transactions — by @BankoleToba

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Who are the principal government participants in the electricity sector and what roles do they perform in relations to renewable energy?

The principal government institutions involved in the Nigeria electricity are the sector are the Federal Ministry of Power, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission and Rural Electrification Agency. Although there are some programmes in some other agencies not related to Electricity but also covering Energy like Energy Commission. These four agencies develop, implement, co-ordinate, evaluate and regulate the policies that drives the power sector and ensure compliance with market rules and guidelines which also covers renewable energy.

Renewable energy sources are less damaging to the environment and naturally replenished. However, this power is largely untapped: How can we as a nation tap into these natural sources of energy?

In this regard, these are my thoughts –

  1. Develop integrated renewable energy planning and investment;
  2. Provide incentives for renewable energy uptake;
  3. Ensure sufficient and affordable capital financing
  4. Stakeholders Collaborations.

In addition, the need to drive incentives for use of RE products; Creation of an RE Devt programme; Educate on Energy use and Energy Efficiency. These are exhastive points but they can guide conversations.

Power generation in Nigeria is mainly from hydro and gas-fired thermal power plants. With the increasing power need for domestic and industrial purposes, what environmental challenges do we face us?

In order not to be gorysome, the challenges we face includes increasing temperature (global warming), sea level rise leading to population displacement as well as land disputes, draught and desertification. In addition, unpredictable rainfall with negative impacts on agriculture, human health problems, etc. the impact in agriculture is quite alarming and threatening food shortage.

What can you say about the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, 1992 concerning the use of power from renewable energy source?

The EIA is to evaluate environmental implications (negative and positive) of carrying out a development project, before major economic decisions are made. Evaluations like this can be set alongside economic objectives to make balanced and favorable decisions. The EIA is a comprehensive and encompassing document and it covers all sectors when it comes to carrying our development or infrastructural projects. IMHO, I think the Federal Ministry of Environment should be acknowledged for the ease of approval and management of this Act. EIA act deserves a review by now. Its been said often that it is being reviewed, when it will finally be, i don’t know. We just must constantly reviewing and strengthening our operational tools.

Does the government offer incentives to promote the development of renewable energy projects? In addition, has the government established policies that also promote renewable energy?

Sure, there are incentives and policies aimed at promoting the devt of renewable energy projects in Nigeria. Under the NREEEP for instance, the Nigeria President made provision for tax cuts, tax exemptions and Import duty waivers for clean-energy related projects. Other policies includes the Renewable Electricity Action Programme 2006, National Biofuel Policy and Incentive 2007, Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan (RESIP) and the Building Energy Efficiency Code 2017.

Can environmental attributes be stripped and sold separately and what are the biggest drivers of change in the renewable energy markets?

According to Deloitte, the biggest drivers of change in the renewable energy market are high demands, reduction in costs, improvement in battery storage technology etc. Also these are points that can scale any new technology.

What is the legal and regulatory framework applicable to developing, financing, operating and selling power and ‘environmental attributes’ from renewable energy projects?

The Regulations on Feed-In Tariff for RE Sourced Electricity in Nigeria (REFIT) provide the tariff framework for renewables. The Regulations apply to RE sourced from wind, hydro, biomass and solar PV with a capacity of between 1MW and 30MW that is connected to the grid. The National Electric Power Policy 2001 outlines the framework for power sector reforms in Nigeria. The EPSR Act provides the legal and regulatory framework for the sector. it promotes electricity generation from all sources of energy, including RE. The NREEEP outlines the global thrust of the policies and measures for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. All these can be found online for further learning by enthusiast and aspiring/existing players.

What will be your advice or recommendation for the Nigerian government in making Climate Finance work for the renewable energy sector?

The Government is doing its best and needs adoption from stakeholders while at the same time drive conducive framework and harmonize information for easy accessibility. Also the need to drive the RE Devt program to grow the production base of Rrenewable Eenergy in Nigeria. Also the drive to protect investments is also important.

This is a tweet-chat series on #ClimateWednesday — #ClimateFinanceNG

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