Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Nigeriaâ€™s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) wednesday disclosed that it was pushing to ensure that the cost of deploying mini grid based power generation across the country is cut down by 60 per cent.
To achieve this, REA stated in a statement it sent to THISDAY in Abuja that it would for about three days engage a United States-based institute, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and other leading global stakeholders and investors in the global mini grid electricity market, to develop a new strategy in this regards.
REA explained that the dialogue with RMI and others would when concluded create a roadmap that is both actionable and scalable, through which system costs, demand stimulation, and enabling policy measures would be initiated and used in developing and deploying mini grid power systems in Nigeria.
It tagged the three-day event as â€˜the 20 by 20 Design Charretteâ€™, adding that its partner in this, the RMI was founded in 1982 as an independent non-profit organisation, interested in transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
REA noted that RMI also engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift their energy sources from fossil fuels to efficient renewable energy sources.
â€œThe goal of the 20 by 20 Design Charrette is to cut costs of mini grid delivered electricity by over 60 per cent by addressing items such as system costs, demand stimulation, and enabling policy.
â€œThis multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity will create sustainable energy for hundreds of millions of people and combine the power of global supply chains with local market entrepreneurs and communities,â€ said the statement from REA.
The statement quoted REAâ€™s Managing Director, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, to have said: â€œThe aim of REA is to roll out 10,000 mini grids rapidly to support underserved communities in Nigeria and with the current regulatory landscape, Nigeria is the best market to do mini grids.â€
It also quoted the Chief Executive Officer of RMI, Jules Kortenhorst, to have stated: â€œIâ€™m positive we have the right people in the room and they will deliver a financially viable solution that will truly be a game changer for the market and more importantly, for the people and communities who will gain access to power for the first time.â€
According to the REA, high-potential markets and specific mini grid sites in Nigeria will be used to pilot the recommendations from the meeting which will end on Friday, March 9, and its findings shared with the public in coming weeks.
It added that RMIâ€™s Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (SEED) programme has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since 2016, providing impartial technical, policy and financial advice on energy system development, and collaboration with government, development partners, and the private sector to ensure successful implementation of its recommendations.