By Fred Ellis,2014-04-18 07:05
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    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.


    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


    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

    in Nigeria.

    - 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

    ? Micro-finance

    ? Specialized Commission on Renewable Energy (RE)

    ? Training establishing partnership


    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.


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,

    personal contacts.

    ? 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

    energy projects.


    Professional associations should adopt the appropriation of renewable energy sources as major criteria for assessing projects.

    5. Joseph Olutunmogun

    PowerGen Consultant


    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

    Port Harcourt.

    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

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