The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), the foremost umbrella body of renewable energy professionals in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger-Delta (PIND), has flagged off its Energy Access Roadshow in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. The event which targeted stakeholders in the renewable energy sector, kicked off in Warri in Delta State on 28th March and was closely followed by Port Harcourt in Rivers State on 30th March 2023.
The Energy Access Road is an initiative of REAN that aims to promote the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources and expand the reach and number of stakeholders in the renewable energy sector across Nigeria by creating awareness, highlighting business opportunities, and capacity-building of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to equip them with crucial information and guidance to facilitate their business growth and leading the decentralization and a nationwide spread of renewable energy.
The event was attended by over 300 stakeholders who joined virtually and in-person in both states. Participants include the representatives from Nigeria’s Energy Transition Office, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Rivers State Ministry of Work, Rivers State Ministry of Energy & Natural Resources, Oando Clean Energy Limited, German-Nigeria Hydrogen Office, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Association-Alliances, SEPAN, local/international donor organizations, MSMEs, CSOs, academia, media and other stakeholders in the sector.
In the opening remark by the President of REAN, Ayo Ademilua (MBA), he spoke about the need for more activities, project development, innovation, and increased capacity development in the Renewable Energy sector. He emphasized that with the launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, and Nigeria’s target to achieve Net-Zero goals by 2060, there is a need for renewable energy development to become decentralized and spread throughout all geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Speaking also at the event, the PIND Foundation’s Access to Energy Manager, Dr Teslim Giwa, highlighted PIND activities, ongoing programs, and the success of its work in the Niger-Delta region, especially in the area of providing access to energy for coastal communities.
He added that PIND is working to improve the standards of living for many communities in the Niger-Delta and facilitating partnership working towards facilitating alternative clean energy solutions for these mostly remote coastal communities, which have about 12 million residents.
Damilola Asaleye, COO of Ashdam Solar & Vice President of REAN, in her presentation titled Seizing Opportunities in the Renewable Energy Sector, said there are abundant opportunities within the renewable energy sector both locally and globally. She added that to connect to the opportunities, SMEs must build their skills and expertise and make themselves visible and accessible.
In his presentation, Alfred Ohoh, the representative of the Nigeria Energy Transition office, said Nigeria’s energy transition plan (NETP) was designed to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net zero by 2060. He added that an analysis of the NETP shows that Nigeria’s net zero pathway will result in significant net job creation, with up to 340,000 jobs created by 2030 and 840,000 jobs created by 2060. Nigeria’s energy transition will also create investment opportunities, such as establishing and expanding solar, hydrogen, and electric vehicle industries.
The Oando Clean Energy Limited representative, Temitope Edun, highlighted her organization’s plans for sustainable transportation in Nigeria. Oando Clean Energy Limited is working on decarbonizing transportation emissions, accelerating the gas flare-down program, electrifying and gasifying domestic energy consumption, and clean power for oil and gas operations for the Niger-Delta, she said.
Some participants have commended REAN, describing the program as an informative and eye-opening initiative for stakeholders in the Renewable Energy sector. Ikenna Donald-Ofoegbu, representing Heinrich Boell Foundation, commended REAN and PIND Foundation for the wonderful initiative of taking the message of renewable energy to the sub-national level. He elaborated on the timeliness of the effort considering the new constitutional provision that legitimizes state and local governments to generate, distribute and regulate electricity in their states.
We welcome partners and donor organizations interested in driving this campaign with us. In the next 24 months, REAN will continue the Energy Access Roadshow in the 36 states of the federation to engage stakeholders in the renewable energy sector and inspire strategies toward implementing the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan. The following states for the roadshow are Ondo and Edo states coming up in May.