Experts prescribe solar solution for Nigeria’s energy challenges
A GATHERING of solar energy experts, recently, reviewed the energy situation in Nigeria and the consensus was that policy makers and the citizenry must immediately adopt solar as the primary source of power in the country.
The experts bemoaned that the nation is unable to generate more than 4,000 megawatts while the country needs to be generating 77,000 megawatts if the national development aspirations are to be achieved. Moreover, the grid network for distribution ought to be completely retooled if Nigeria is to avoid a catastrophe. Unfortunately, the nuclear option does not exist given the poor level of our technology development.
Leading the discussions, the Chief Executive Officer of Cloud Energy, Theophilus Nweke, argued that the geo-thermal installations were failing to generate electricity to keep pace with the growth in demand. He observed that developed nations were working on a policy of outlawing hydro carbons energy because of its contributions to pollution and global warming.
From the remaining sources of energy – solar and wind, Nweke said, solar is preferred because of available technology and abundance of sunshine today and forever.
“Solar is dependable, safe and plentiful but its adoption is hindered by investor and user reluctance tied to the unrewarding habits of the traditional way of providing electricity. The solar energy academics, resellers and installers agreed that the only way to sustainable development for Nigeria would be through the efficient use of solar energy’, he added.
Coordinator, Central Industrial Liaison and Placement Unit, CILPU, University of Lagos, Adeshola Kukoyi, in his contribution described Solar energy as an idea whose time has come and like all good ideas solar would need advocacy and mass education to succeed.
Kukoyi said that stake holders in the industry must come together and speak purposefully with one voice. He said that the public must be taught that solar energy is safest, affordable and easy to use. Kukoyi, latching onto the change mantra of the President Buhari administration, summarized the mood of the day – that the Government should implement the duty free tariff for solar panels and subsidise the installation of solar sites. He said that companies that make solar the primary source of energy in their operations should be granted tax reliefs.
Nweke further canvassed a single digit renewable energy fund to be assessed by individuals and corporate bodies that want to invest on solar infrastructure. He also stressed that energy conservation is an essential part of the solar philosophy. Every point of light not in use must be turned off. Nigerians must follow the steps of successful nations – adopt the extensive use of inverters and other energy saving devices.