We are sure that the newly elected President, Muhammadu Buhari understands that lamps, candles and open fires cannot be our source of lighting, nor darkness an option – as it stops productivity and encourages crime. But what we do not know is whether his administration plans to hands-off Nigeria’s heavy reliance on traditional energy resources, and support developing technologies beyond traditional resource extraction i.e. the development of clean and sustainable energy technologies that can provide economic opportunities to the country.
As rapidly growing economies seek to secure stable energy supplies, Renewable Energy (RE) becomes undoubtedly the panacea. In Nigeria, the government and the people heavily rely on fossil fuel to generate power, despite plethora natural resources that abound in the country which when properly harnessed will secure stable energy supplies that will not only be sustainable and uninterrupted, but will impact positively on the environment.
Energy is strategically substantial to production, distribution and consumption of goods and services which forms every economy. Growth and development within a country are not only shaped by technology and economics, but also by government policies and public acceptance. Although the country strongly relies on traditional energy sources for generation of power; however, global influences over the year are strongly pushing for innovation and growth in the energy sector of most developing countries, and calling to a large degree reliance on renewable energy as an alternative to energy dearth.
Therefore, it is imperative that Nigeria – a country with endowment of natural energy resources develop them to maximize the benefits to the economy as a whole. However, the success will depend largely on policies President Buhari’s government will make towards foreign and local investments into hydro, solar, stranded gas, biomass, wind, and geothermal projects in the country.
Apart from RE being a clean and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel in the production of energy, it also portends a win-win situation anywhere in the world. Although the current huge cost surrounding generation, distribution and marketing of RE especially solar energy seems discouraging, yet the private sector and foreign investors should not be discouraged from boosting investment in RE, while the present government tries as much as it can to reduce the level of bureaucracy in the energy sector in order to attract both local and international investment. Certainly, as more creativity, innovation and demand come into place there is bound to be a sharp fall in the cost of future investment in RE.
There should be a deep synergy between power engineering, construction and investment experience in developing markets that will attract investors, developers and deliverers of renewable power assets; a network of partnering companies to provide engineering, management and financial support, whilst offering the ability to act as a bankable sponsor for small, medium and large renewable power projects in the country.