Stakeholders seek special fund for renewable energy

Acting chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah

Acting chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah

Disturbed by the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s power sector, stakeholders yesterday called for the establishment of a fund to boost the quest for alternative sources of energy.

They also want a policy with incentive support for families and communities.

The experts spoke at an energy efficiency seminar in Abuja.

National Project Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-sponsored Energy Efficiency Programme, Etiosa Uyigue, noted that Ghana had already established a similar fund to stimulate diversification.

He said: “I know there is already a fund for renewable energy in Ghana. The fund supports renewable energy initiatives. We can also do the same in Nigeria. The upfront cost for some of these renewable energy schemes is high. That is why government support is very essential to push the market.

“The fund could be applied in several ways. It could be in the form of an incentive for those who want to use renewable energy as an alternative source of energy. It could be an incentive for them. It could also be a tariff holiday for a period of time. It could be to subsidise for the product.”

An Assistant General Manager at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Yusuf Abdulsalam, submitted that though energy generation from alternative sources was much more expensive, but surmountable.

“Renewable energy sources are much more expensive, but cheaper eventually. There is need to have a way of funding it and encouraging people to venture into it. If there is a fund in place, those who are unable to venture into it can access finance and pay back over time. It can make more power available for our benefit over time,” he remarked.

The convener, Deborah Tamuno-Tonye Braide, stressed the importance of energy efficiency in the nation’s electricity power sector.

Braide, is a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member at the Renewable Energy Research and Development Division of NERC.

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