By Kingley Okoye
The Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria (SEPAN) says channeling 50 per cent of the N213 billion CBN’s power intervention fund into Renewable Energy development can generate 10,000 MW of electricity by 2020.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had commenced disbursement of the power intervention fund to operators to enable the upgrade of their facilities and improve electricity supply to Nigerians.
Part of the fund have been so far disbursed to some benefiting generating, distributing and gas supply companies that are involve in the production electricity using the thermal plants.
To this end, the President, SEPAN, Dr Chidi Onuoha, said the CBN’s interventions was solely channelled to improve thermal energy production, hence the nation was still battling with 4,000mw.
He said that the intervention fund was been channelled into developing the thermal grid system and fixing the constant transmission hiccups that had impaired sustainable development in the sector.
He said it was unfortunate that part of the money was not committed to developing renewable energy, noting that no developer in the renewable production had access to the fund.
According to him, channelling part of the CBN’s power intervention fund into renewable energy production will not only generate 10,000mw of power, but will also create employment opportunities for teeming Nigerian unemployed youths.
“It has been proven that for every one mega watt of renewable deployed, you will be creating 3,000 jobs in the value chain in terms of solar inverters, artisans, technicians etc.
“ Then multiply 3,000 jobs by 10,000mw, your guess is as good as mine.“
Onuoha said Nigeria’s growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the largest economy in Africa with over S510 billion GDP was not commensurate with the growth in energy Infrastructure.
He said that the energy infrastructure deficit had also been further compounded recently by transmission hiccups and vandalism.
He however said it was cheery that government had shown interest in mainstreaming investment in renewable energy as shown by the signing of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with 14 Developers in Res.
He said the PPA agreement was designed to generate over 1,120mw.
“It is a welcome development. But PPA is just an instrument to go and source for fund. There may still be hiccups on the way to access the funds“,he said.
He said there was the urgent need for the implementation of an accelerated result oriented policy road map for the elimination of challenges inherent in the cost of funding renewable energy Infrastructure