Power sector operators have called on the government to channel its subsidy spending on petrol to the renewable energy industry where it will have more impact.
Participants at the national policy conference/policy roundtable dialogue on the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy said Nigeria would benefit more when the country’s renewable energy sector was improved upon.
In a communique issued at the end of conference, which was organised by the Partnership for Economic Policy in Abuja, the participants commented on the possibility of channelling the current subsidy on petrol to a production subsidy for the renewable energy sector.
“However, the production subsidy should apply to the production process of renewable energy rather than its importation,” they said.
They noted that this highlighted the problem of the dearth of domestic capacity to produce, maintain and develop the renewable energy sector.
The power sector stakeholders explained that to improve domestic capacity, adapting renewable energy into the existing educational curriculum was imperative.
Some attendees at the conference include the Director, Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access, Federal Ministry of Power, Faruk Yabo, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Dapshima Abubakar; the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Power, Mr Abba Aliyu; and a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council/Chairman, Board of Director, Development Bank of Nigeria, Shehu Yahaya.
Others include the Director, Economic Development and Social Studies, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, National Assembly, Adeyemi Fajingbesi; the Executive Secretary of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Lande Abudu.
The participants also raised concerns regarding the overwhelming emphasis on solar energy which had warranted the neglect and underdevelopment of other options like wind and tidal waves.
They noted that a major consideration for expanding the scope of renewable energy use in Nigeria was the option of awareness and sensitisation programmes that focused on the advantages of renewable energy in very remote communities.
“Such awareness programmes should highlight the cost implications of adopting renewable energy and sustainability options that can generate income for the users,” they said.
The conference participants further noted that economic implications should be considered when formulating policies on renewable energy.
They highlighted the problems of weak inter-agency collaborations, affordability considerations of existing renewable energy options and the need to harmonise the implementation of import regulations pertaining to renewable energy as probable economic conditions that could mitigate the effectiveness of renewable energy policies.
Other mitigating factors to effective renewable energy policies, according to them, include knowledge gap between researchers’ findings and implementing these findings by policymakers; and the dissimilar demand for renewable energy for both on-grid and off-grid electricity consumers.
Source: The Punch