BAS ASSOCIATES CONSULTING LIMITED
IREC 2008 COMMUNIQUE
COMMUNIQUE ON THE INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE AND
WORKSHOPS HELD AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL ROYALE, ABUJA, OCTOBER 7TH – 9TH OCTOBER,
The International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC 2008) was held from 7th – 9th October at the
Zuma Hall, Rockview Hotel Royale, Abuja. The theme of the conference this year is “Exploiting
Renewable Energy Opportunities in Africa”. The issues for consideration of the theme of the Third
International Renewable Energy Conference are as follows:-
1. That in the recent past, energy crises, adverse climate impacts and the intractable poverty
among most African countries have indicated the need to review conventional energy options
used in countries with greater deployment of renewable energy in the pursuit of sustainable
2. The primary challenge of rural energy supply is to provide energy for increasing economic
activities such as agricultural production and marketing, health improvement, education,
security, information and communication.
3. Africa is endowed with sufficient renewable resources to meet its present and future needs.
4. Furthermore, affordable Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) which are also environment
friendly are now widely available for improving electricity generation and distribution.
5. Opportunity for microfinance banks and similar institutions are now available to help remove
the constraints which has for so long hindered the wide use of RETs in the implementation of
low-cost and low-risk electricity supply to rural communities.
The Conference was attended by Federal and State Ministries, Academia, Private Industries, Banks, Local
and International Companies, and the Press representing about 250 participants.
OPENINING OF THE CONFERENCE
The Conference was declared opened by the representative of the Honourable Minister of State for
Energy (Power), Mallam Sanusi Garba.
In his opening remarks, he mentioned that Nigeria is in the procurement process phase of the first wind
farm with a capacity of 10MW. The project is expected to be concessioned on completion.The idea is to
expand the wind farm capacity to about 50MW which he said will be replicated in other viable locations
across the country.
He also spoke about the National Energy Master Plan, the 10-year Renewable Energy Action Plan and
the recently concluded Japan International Coporation Agency, JICA report on the utilization of Solar
Energy which is expected to be useful documents in implementing Renewable Energy Projects.
Mallam Sanusi Garba, representing the Minister of State for Energy (Power) stated that the
government’s preference for these projects is based mainly on innovative Public Private Partnerships.
The Honourable Minister Representative in his speech stated that, “the sector regulator, NERC, has
already initiated plans on modalities to accommodate the renewable energy electricity in the tariff
regime for grid connection”. This implies that potential investors in Renewable Energy Industry in
Nigeria can begin to set the ball rolling. Accordingly, the Federal Government is expected to meet with
National Assembly in enacting the necessary legislation for power generated from renewable energy
In a goodwill message from the House Committee Chairman on Power, Hon. Godwin Elumelu read by
the Clerk to the Committee, acknowledged the state of backwardness of Africa in terms of Infrastructure
especially on energy. Hon. Elumelu confirmed progress on the governments’ effort on grid-connected
10MW wind farm in Katsina state and pilot scale solar projects by Energy Commission of Nigeria in
selected areas of Kano and Kaduna state.
He further encouraged that the conference should be used as platform to work out technical
competences within reach and map out realistic plans and techniques to actualize viable solutions to the
power crisis in the country and put the economy of the country among the 20 largest economies in the
Professor AMA Imevbore, Chairman Conference Organizing Committee, in his welcome remarks
emphasized the need to explore renewable energy resources as viable option to transform the lives of
rural and semi-urban dwellers in Nigeria and Africa.
The Conference was marked by five important events;
1. REEFA Award: IREC 2008 for the first time introduced the Renewable Energy and Energy
Efficiency Award in recognition and appreciation of individual and corporate organizations for
their contribution towards the development of RE in Nigeria. The two distinguished personalities
that were presented with the REEFA plaque during the opening ceremony were; Prof. A.S Sambo
of Energy Commission of Nigeria and Lincoln Dahl of African Energy, U.S.A.
2. Forum: There are four sub-themes in the forum. They are finance and investment, renewable
energy for rural development, waste to wealth and sustainable building. The speakers for this
forums where drawn from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
3. Workshops: The Conference had workshops on Renewable Energy Technologies; Solar PV
Beginners and Advance class, Solar Water Pumping Systems, Small Hydro Power and
Biomass/Biofuels with an average of 15 participants in each class.
4. Exhibition: There were exhibitions on renewable energy by various indigenous companies and
offshore companies which include the African Energy Group, USA; Sharp Corporation, Singapore;
First Climate, Switzerland; Pamtronics, Jos; Resort Savings and Loans, Abuja; Rubitec Nigeria
Limited, Lagos; Roy Solar, China; Solarmate Engineering etc
5. Stakeholders Cooperative Forum: Participants during this forum proffer suggestions and action
plan on how to move the RE forward in Nigeria
PLENARY AND KEYNOTE ADDRESSES
Key note addresses were given during the plenary session by various stakeholders in the Industry. There
are three lead key notes presented during the conference; two were presented during the Finance and
Investment Forum while the other was presented at the Renewable Energy for Rural Development
The three papers are as follows:
? Finance and Investment Forum
o Dr M. S Islam: Financing Renewable Energy Technology with Special Reference to
Grameen Shakti Programmes.
o Dr Kleine: Renewable Energy Regulation and Implementation: The German Experience.
? Renewable Energy for Rural Development Forum
o Prof. Anumakonda Jagadeesh: Renewable Energy for Rural Development
The plenary session on financing Renewable Energy Technology discussed the mechanisms for funding
RETs projects in Nigeria. It reviewed the experience of Grameen Shakti in Bangladesh in providing funds
for small and medium scale RETS through microfinance banks, the proposals of Citiserve Microfinance
Bank for financing RETs in Nigeria and the worldwide experience of First Climate Group AG, Switzerland
in Carbon Finance for micro-energy projects.
Grameen Shakti had financed more than 300,000 home energy systems in rural areas of Bangladesh
through low interest (6%) loan, with recoverable rates of 99%.
First Climate has also supported many projects through the Certified Emission Rates (CERs) or Carbon
Credit Funds. First Climate is in a position to help identify projects that qualify for carbon credits in
Africa especially in Nigeria and also link prospective candidates with industries in the West that are
ready to pay for CERs.
Participants identified capacity building for developing projects that qualify for Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM) funding as the greatest barrier to Nigeria’s utilization of carbon funds. This is the
major reason Nigeria has not buy into carbon credits. Other issues on CDM agreed are;
- That the completion of bankable projects from Nigeria will go a long way in ensuring that Nigeria
takes its own share of GEF and carbon credits funds.
- It was recommended that Nigeria should concentrate on building the capacity for developing
CDM projects business plans that meet the criteria for qualification for these funds.
- Nigeria should also strengthen its climate change unit/commission to be able to help
prospective investors in meeting these criteria, so that we can replicate most of these projects
- Microfinance banks in Nigeria were also encouraged to go into the new area of funding RETs
portfolios and go out of their ways to encourage investors to think Renewable Energy. About 25 technical papers were presented all together during the conference at various sessions and on
variety of topics.
The key issues from the conference are:
? Awareness Raising/Advocacy
? Specialized Commission on Renewable Energy (RE)
? Training – establishing partnership
ISSUES/SUGGESTIONS MADE AT PLENARY
1. The need to establish an African Fund for Biofuels. Potential source of the fund could be windfall
from oil revenue.
2. There is the need for a strong political will and there may be the need for the establishment of a
technical committee etc.
3. There is the need to make RETs accessible to the whole markets i.e. rural population and this
should take the following into consideration
o It should be private sector driven
o It should involve awareness creation
o As well as microfinance
o Community mobilization 4. A system approach to the promotion of RETs should be adopted. Biogas (not necessary Biofuels)
is the most sustainable option for promoting RETs.
5. RE should be integrated into the curriculum of universities and polytechnics. Where expertise
does not exist, partnerships should be formed with established institutions in Europe as well as
Africa and other developing countries such as South Africa and India. 6. Development control units must insist that certain types of buildings should be powered by
alternative energy technologies
7. Government should set aside annual budget for alternative energy
8. Professional bodies should also consider the use of alternative energy in their project
9. The possibility of ensuring that a percentage (say 10%) of N500 billion packages designated for
energy for the 2008-2009 fiscal year should be earmarked for promoting RE in remote rural
10. The role of government is extremely crucial in the promotion of RETs
11. There is need for a renewable energy database to provide a one-stop information clearing house
for private sectors.
12. There is the need to set up pressure groups that will lobby government to adopt RE in the
energy mix. The pressure group could also be used to raise awareness on RETs. 13. The employment/wealth creation/environmental benefits associated with Biofuels should be
highlighted and trumpeted.
14. Media education is crucial to awareness creation.
15. There is the need to encourage academic debate based on facts not emotions ( on biofuels) 16. Parts of educational trust fund should be used to promote Research and Development in RE. 17. Reports on state-by state RE activities should be prepared to give insight on what is going on in
all the other states.
18. Comparative cost analysis of RE versus fossils fuels should be done to help inform policies 19. Capacity building at all levels should be carried out.
20. Promotion of RE must highlight both advantages and disadvantages to help manage expectation. 21. There is need for enforceable standards to help ensure that sub-standard RE
appliances/accessories are eliminated or avoided.
22. There is the need for the government of Ghana to publicize and promote Nigeria as a stable and
viable destination for investors. Government should take advantage of international
conferences to promote Nigeria as the investment destination in West Africa. 23. Ensure that utilities company such Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are represented
at subsequent conferences
24. The German Renewable Energy Law is recommended as the best example of RE law that could
be adopted by countries. Similarly, the Grameen Shakti micro-financing model is also
25. The standard organization Nigeria should be sensitized to be up and doing in ensuring that
standard RE appliances and accessories are brought into the country.
1. To urge our societies in different countries of Africa to ensure major responsibility of harnessing
the enormous renewable energy potentials in efforts to promote sustainable development and
the reduction of poverty.
2. Urge the private sector and our community leaders to boldly address the issues of promoting
electricity availability, energy affordability, energy efficiency and conservation through the use
of environmentally sound renewable energy technologies which are widely available. 3. Pledge to mount and sustain a campaign to facilitate the reliance on the use of RETs in the
pursuit of sustainlable development through the use of demonstration projects in rural
4. Agree and immediately begin this campaign by establishing a broad based committee to win
pilot projects which will pay particular attention to the following:
a. Broadening the energy options available in rural committees by promoting the use of
alternative energy sources to fuel wood
b. Developing the capability to utilize solar energy
c. Promoting the use of biomass (agricultural and other types of wastes) and biogas as
alternative energy sources and
d. Harnessing where applicable the mini and micro hydropower and or wind for development.
e. All the above to attract investment for the provision of electricity and the stimulation of
rural industrial growth.
5. The committee shall prepare projects-including defining selection criteria for their sitting,
institutional arrangements and strengthen community participation and arrangements and
foster partnerships in their implementation.
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS DURING THE STAKEHOLDERS COOPERATIVE FORUM
1. Aliyu Musa (SCCU)
To move the forum forward; we need to:
1. Educate the law makers on the importance of Renewable Energy
2. The general public should be sensitized in that line too
3. Renewable Energy should be affordable to the masses, if the technology is to benefit the local
2. Arc. Binta Fatima Yahaya
Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil.
? The government of Nigeria should create the awareness for renewable energy using the media,
? The government should encourage the populace to finance this project which allows them to
own alternative source of energy. This can be done by financing about 50% of the cost and the
remaining being financed over a period of say 5 years.
? The sources of alternative energy in every area should be identified and used for a particular
area. E.g in the northern part of the country, where the wind speed is high and solar energy also
high during the specific times of the year. E.g wind speed is higher during the harmattan season
with low solar energy. Therefore, alternative energy powered by wind be adopted for use during
the harmattan season while the remaining period of the year be powered by solar energy.
3. Ohene Akoto
Jatropha Africa, Ghana
We need to educate the media and the wider world about the benefit that biofuels can bring
following recent negative publicity.
? We need to encourage serious academic debate that is based on facts and not emotions.
? Biofuel sector should emphasis it acceptance of the principle of liberalized trade and
access developed economy’s market for product, goods and services from Africa.
The idea of biofuels project should help develop a system of decentralized energy generation
which will benefit off-grid communities in:-
1. Generating energy for local development
2. Generating income opportunities and
3. Improving the local and global environment
4. Dr. W.B Qurix,
Department of Architecture ABU, Zaria
R & D Universities to incorporate courses in renewable energy in applied science courses such
as Building, Architecture and Engineering
(a) Development control units should compel developers of certain categories of buildings with
200 occupants and above to incorporate renewable energy sources before obtaining
(b) MDG funding should be based on governments allocating 20% of the funding for renewable
Professional associations should adopt the appropriation of renewable energy sources as major criteria for assessing projects.
5. Joseph Olutunmogun
Generally, I felt that the conference provided exciting debates and there is clearly good motivation on the development on Renewable Energy (RE) projects in Nigeria.
However, we also need to consider the “environmental impact” issues relating to the RE projects. I was a bit disappointed that these issues was not included in some of the presentations provided – especially that of waste-to-energy section.
Developers, investor and operators need have a duty of care to the people whom will have to leave with these plants after installation. These are no excuse for ignorance!! If there are no legislations on environmental emissions in relation to their projects in Nigeria, then we can apply the World Bank or EU standard as guidance.
6. Chief (Mrs.) Anita Nana Okuribido
Council for Renewable Energy (CREN)
Secretary, EMC (CREN)
A budget of N560 billion was announced by the Federal Government in Nigeria through the
Presidency for the 2008 fiscal year, for energy provision. Definitely Renewable Energy
Technology sector is not considered in this budget.
If 10% of this budget –N5.6 billion is earmarked for provision of solar/wind energy for the
purpose of providing illumination and water supply 4 Million homesteads will benefit from this largesse and be removed from the “dark age”.
Question: How does this group create an avenue for having access to this budget so that some of the funds can be channeled for the purpose of utilizing this money judiciously for the
implementation of RETs in the rural sector?
7. Arc. F.G.N IHEJIMBA (mnia)
Sky Resources Technology Nig. Ltd
(1) All R.E companies should ensure that the products they promote timely meets product
quality standards and its life span sustainable so as not to discourage investors. (2) RE development should not be conceived as a new money making industry for people to take
advantage of, but rather a new world order that will impart our environment (3) Governments interest and investment in RE must be genuine and purposeful (4) A regulatory body should be in place to regulate and standardize the quality of products in
8. Ishmael Edjekumhene,
Proposed Framework recommended by KITE, Ghana
Policy & Regulation:
Form a team that will research and clarify that the existing policies and laws are compatible with the
delivery of RET on the ground. Check if the government is willing to provide a subsidy for end users of
RET. Lobby government to formulate minimum quality standards.
Formulate a micro-finance group consisting of investors, banks and other financial institutions which
will provide the funds for purchasing RE systems that less affluent people can obtain.
Formulate a group that will encourage the use of sustainable design in new house building
Promotion & Dissemination
Form a group that will spear head the marketing of reliable RE systems e.g Solar Lamps, panels etc
to the micro market (less affluent people)
The forum should direct activities at mass-education of the populace (both rural and urban) with a
view to increasing knowledge and awareness on the use of solar or renewable energy
It will surprise you to note that even urban dwellers, who are supposed to form advocacy group for
the rural dwellers are not well enlightened in Renewable Energy.
Pressure Group: CREN, SESN, REA, NGOs, NERC
Senate committee on energy
An Apex body to steer the activities of all companies in RE with the database.
9. Arc. Haruna Yahaya
Sustainable Kano Project
I suggest the incorporation of the following in the proposed framework presented by Ishmael
Under policy and regulate;
- Sponsor a bill to the national assembly for a national policy on the use of Local
Government Funds (part of it) for a bottom up strategy on sensitization of the rural and
the poor urban dwellers on the potentials of waste to wealth (Garbage conversion) into
manure and other useful products.
- Increase awareness level of the people using deliberately (specially) established CSOs,
CBOs, and NGOs for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of RE (Garbage conversion,
solar energy and wing energy), particularly in the rural areas.
- Under R & D, the issue of capacity building of the above established CBOs, etc should be
vigorously pursued. They shall also serve as pressure groups to sway the leadership
thinking in order to get the needed political will and support for implementations.
10. Tony Okonkwo- First Bank Nig. Plc
Government of Nigeria still subsidized the petroleum energy, governments should be
made or called upon to subsidized the RET.
11. Engr. Debo Ladejola
(OEIE (Nig.) Ltd
R & D
One of the greatest challenges of R & D in Nigeria is fund. An education tax fund as a ready-
made fund from private sector (tax). It is opined that a certain percentage of this fund (Education
Tax Fund) could be set-aside for the R & D of RE
12. Michael E.S. Kpogbara
T-Osbari Global Concepts
Plot 229, Bodo-Road
GRA II 08037060242
1. The Forum should be able to define the way forward from the activities of the various states
in Nigeria. The figures of the activities from these states will go along way to help this forum
chart a course.
2. Capacity building –training and re-training of the rural people (bottom-to-top-approach)
3. A collation and assessment of these data reports from the states ( in terms of RE financing
and implementation) will guide the recommendation we will be making in this forum
13. Bjorn Martein, GEIST
Crucial points to consider
? Knowledge about sustainable system design important.
Education about all renewable alternatives necessary including solar panels, solar
heaters, wind power, biogas for cooking, electricity production and use as a vehicle fuel,
needs to reach the people. Establish capacity building centers where those technologies
can be exposed.
? Use organic farming such as axiom for all projects involving biogas and agro fuels like
ethanol and biodiesel.
? Include waste water treatment and building construction in the system approach as well
as access to proper sanitation!!!
? Eating habits are also crucial
30% of global green house gases come from food production