Renewable energy investments pick up in 2014


    The Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), which seeks to increase the supply of renewable electricity from 13 percent of total electricity generation in 2015 to 23 percent in 2025 and 36 percent by 2030, might be on its way to meet its target.
    Several foreign investments have been made in the renewable energy sub-sector of the energy sector year to date. A Korean firm, HQMC Korea Company Ltd, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Government to invest up to US$30 billion to build a 10,000MW solar power plant in Nigeria over several years. Also, the Jigawa State Government has signed an MoU with NOVA Scotia Power Development Limited for the development of a NGN34 billion, 50MW solar power project in the state. From North America, Canada’s Sky Power will be investing US$5bn in developing a 3000MW solar-powered electricity facility in Delta State.
    Other renewable projects in the pipeline include the 3,050MW Mambilla Hydro Power Plant Project, 360MW Gurara II Hydro Power Plant Project, 38MW Dadinkowa Hydro Power Plant Project, 40MW Itisi Hydro power Plant Project, 3,100MW Mambilla Hydro and 700MW Zungeru Hydro.
    This is a far cry from 2012 when Africa had about $4.3 billion of the $268.7 billion invested globally in renewable energy, of which Nigeria had a negligible portion. “About $260 billion was spent globally, but Nigeria’s investment was almost zero. It was very low,” says Segun Adaju, project manager, Bank of Industry/UNDP Access to Renewable Energy.
    Based on the REMP, renewable electricity would account for 10% of Nigerian total energy consumption by 2025. Presently, Nigeria has the installed capacity to generate 2100MW from hydro, which is the only renewable source supplying the commercial grid. Hydropower represents 20.9% of Nigeria’s power generation, as at January 2011, according to data from Trading Economics.
    Legacy assets currently have a total of 1,310MW installed renewable energy generation. They include, Hydro which has 1,300MW installed capacity (Kainji Hydropower Station with eight generating units, Jebba Hydro Power Station with six generating units and Shiroro Hydro Power Station which has four generating units) and Wind which has installed 10MW capacity (pilot). The 10MW Wind Farm is ready for commissioning and concessioning.

    Source: Nigeria’s Renewable Energy Resources

    With the new investments and projects in the pipeline, this would bring the total renewable energy installed capacity to 21,648 MW.
    Investments in renewable power have been bolstered by the political will from the Federal Government. Nigeria’s Vice President, Arc Namadi Sambo has said that Nigeria will fully utilise its abundant renewable energy resources to enhance electricity supply across the country.
    The government recently concluded plans to launch the National Policy on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to boost power supply in the country.
    The Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil said “we are committed to driving President Goodluck Jonathan’s agenda; his vision of a Nigeria where 30,000MW will be generated from renewable sources in the next one decade.’’
    Mr. Wakil said that in the policy, government sought to provide an integrated framework for all stakeholders, especially investors, in clean energy for power generation and the general development of renewable energy in Nigeria.
    Furthermore, the President has established a “Light up Rural Nigeria Project” which aims to electrify rural areas with renewable energy.
    The REMP details specific areas of investment for prospective investors, namely: Small-hydro: 600 MW in 2015 and 2, 000 MW by 2025; Solar PV: 500 MW by 2025; Biomass-based power plants: 50 MW in 2015 and 400 MW by 2025; Wind: 40 MW for wind energy by 2025;
    Despite these strides, more work still need to be done. A recent Bloomberg report estimated that renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa would reach the $5.9 billion mark in 2014, and grow to $7.7 billion in 2016. It however noted that the investments are predominantly expected from South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia, leaving Nigeria out of the top three countries investors seek out for renewable energy investments.