The Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi said the government has provided waivers and tariffs, among other incentives, to prospective and existing producers of renewable energy to foster its growth.
He said the incentives are to motivate producers of renewable energy as well as assist the government to diversify its energy sources in line with the Roadmap for the Power Sector, launched in 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the commission has introduced a scheme, the Feed-In-Tariff, to enable producers of renewable energy sell power to the grid at prices higher than the ones produced by conventional producers of power that rely on either gas or hydro for production. He added that the 30 megawatts solar plant in Katsina State is one initiative that would benefit from the tarrifs regime.
He said NERC has approved and implemented an import duty waiver for companies bringing renewable energy parts into the country, stating that the idea was part of efforts to bring more people into the renewable energy net and further boost Nigerians’ access to electricity supply.
“NERC has come up with a tariff rate for renewable energy to spur investment in that area, and further expand sources of energy in Nigeria. It is part of efforts to deepen the market and subsequently make people to have an array of electricity sources to choose from for socio-economic growth,’’ Amadi said.
Also, the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, has inaugurated an eight-member committee to develop a framework that would help in generating power from coal.
Nebo said the ministry was working on renewable energy and energy conservation policy for the country, stressing that the policy will guide the government on how to tap into the opportunities in the renewable energy sub-sector. He said the government was diversifying the sources of energy because it wants more Nigerians to access electricity.
“The idea will enable many of the rural areas that are not connected to the national grid to have some kind of ring-fencing, where they would be serviced with renewable energy.’’
He said there are plans by the government to build coal-fired plants in Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Gombe states, adding that the idea is aimed at providing energy mix in the country.
Besides, the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Beks Dagogo Jack, said the country needs energy mix for growth, stating that government should not rely only on thermal, or hydro sources of power because of Nigeria’s size and population.
He said Nigeria has solar, fossil fuel and wind in abundance, adding that they would be useful as the electricity market is unlocked, adding that thousands of electricity mega watts could be harnessed from renewable energy sources, thus the call for advocating the energy mix.
The government is committed to the transformation of the power sector as evident by the recent privatisation and unbundling of the energy sector, Jack, said.
Nebo, and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Sada, have concluded a visit to Coal plants and other facilities operated by HTG-Pacific Energy Consortium in India and China to ascertain the competencies of the consortium to render good services to Nigeria.
Information from The Nation was used in this report.