solar panelThe Federal Government is set to provide more than 420 megawatts of renewable energy to nine states in the Northern part of the country, Secretary, National Energy Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Njiddah has said.

Njiddah stated this in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting on the Nigerian-German Energy Partnership-Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects (REEPS).

The secretary said the project would be implemented under the Nigerian-German Energy Partnership-Renewable Energy scheme.

The Federal Government had in 2008 signed an agreement with Germany to provide more than 20 million euros to increase energy efficiency by about 6500MW through a mix of power generation sources.

Under the project German Government is to provide 500 megawatts of solar energy to be spread across the northern states of the country within five years.

He said the project was expected to take off in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, Kano Nasarawa and Sokoto states as pilot scheme before the end of this year.

He said each of the states had indicated interest in getting 30 megawatts solar plant with the exception of Kano and Nasarawa that wanted three or four plants in different parts of their states.

Njiddah, who said each plant would cost between 50 and 60 million dollars, noted that the project was borne out of the desire to tap the abundant solar energy in the northern part of the country.

He said the project was being implemented in line with the power reform act that stipulates that 5 per cent of power generation to come from renewable energy by 2020.

“It is in the pursuit of this that we now consider this and having considered what has been happening in some part of the country that we can generate power from other sources apart from conventional thermal power generation.

“This is economically and environmentally efficient and also serves as another source of revenue for the beneficiary state governments using renewable energy for power generation.

“It is also an opportunity for us to acquire skill especially the tertiary institutions, in the area of capacity building and expansion, employment generation in 100 of thousands, wealth creation among others,” he said.

According to him, the project is based on a scientific investigation, which indicated substantial solar energy in all the northern states.

He said that the project would go a long way in stimulating economic growth of the state, and thereby creating employment opportunities.

The Chairman of the Infrastructure Bank Plc, Alhaji Lamis Dikko, said the bank was appointed by the Federal Government as the transaction advisor and local financier arranger for the project.

“Our role is to help the Nigeria-German energy partnership to structure project, find local investors that will invest in these projects and to ensure proper sound project management in the best international practice.

“We bring together all the developers, who have indicated interest in developing power pants all the state governments that have indicated interest in having solar power in their states.

“We bring together all the stakeholders and come up with a road map and choose, which project that will be the pilot project,” he said.

Co-ordinator, Nigerian-German Energy Partnership, Dr. Jeremy Gaines, who led other German developers to the meeting, said Germany was committed to ensuring that the northern part of the country gets adequate power supply through solar energy.

He said the project would be completed within the specific given period of time.


Information from The Guardian was used in this report.