Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Sustainable Energy Practitioners Association of Nigeria (SEPAN) has urged the federal government to extend the many financial interventions it has created in the power sector to the renewable energy sub-sector, stressing that one megawatt of renewable energy could create over 300,000 job opportunities.
They also stated that if given the kind of support which the government extends to operators in the fossil fuel sector, they could make more impacts than their contemporaries.
Though SEPAN said its members were not in competition with the fossil fuel power operators, its President, Dr. Magnus Onuoha, however told journalists in Abuja that if the government could allocate about N250 billion from the many funding pools available to the sector to the renewable energy operators, they would be able to generate and deliver about 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Nigeria in a few years.
Onuoha explained that deployment of renewable technologies was an investment in carbon credit, adding that the country stood greater chances to make more returns on investments in renewable energy than it does from fossil fuel power generation.
He also pointed out that claims that the renewable energy was expensive to deploy were untrue because unlike their fossil fuel counterparts, they do not enjoy any form of support from the Nigerian government.
â€œWe want government to be proactive. Government should give us a level playing ground. The interventions that non-renewable people are enjoying should be extended to the renewable energy practitioners. It is not as if the cost of renewable energy is very high, it is because who do not have the framework to drive the sector,â€ Onuoha said.
â€œIf those interventions from the CBN, 50 per cent of them are deployed in renewable, we can generate 10,000MW by 2020,â€ he added.
According to him, the association was working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to rid the sector of quacks and sub-standard equipment to boost consumersâ€™ confidence in the offerings of the renewable energy sector.
Speaking on the future plans of SEPAN,Onuoha disclosed that the 2017 SEPAN award and lecture series would be held in Kaduna in July, to honour those pushing for the growth of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria.
He explained that the choice of Kaduna, was to encourage the work done in renewable energy sector by the state government which he stated has ensured that three out of the 14 developers that signed the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the government to generate over 1120MW of solar power are cited in Kaduna.
The award, Onuoha explained would be held in collaboration with the Nigerian chapter of Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE Nigeria).
He listed those to be honoured to include Senator Abdulahi Adamu, Senator Rose Okoh, Hon. Ayo Hulayat Omodiran, Hon. Bede Eke, Mr. Ahmed Sanda, Mr. Adeyemo Segun, Mr. Yusuf Suleiman and Mrs. Patricia Achakpa.
Others he stated are the governors of Kaduna and Cross River States, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai and Prof. Ben Ayade respectively. The Managing Director of First Bank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and the acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju.