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Africa needs to effectively utilize renewable energy
March 18, 2018, 12:20 pm

Africa needs to intensify efforts to improve the transmission grid in order to effectively develop renewable energy on the continent, said Nigeria’s Director of Renewable and Rural Power Access Department in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Farouk Yusuf.

The director was addressing the two-day conference on Renewable Energy Development organized by the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CEPEEL) of the University of Ibadan.

As a committed member of the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS, Nigeria has adopted several international treaties and policies which promote the use of renewable energy, said the director. This, he said, was in line with the national vision to provide incremental power, and then steady and uninterrupted power.

The minister said that the Federal Government recently approved an integrated energy mix target under its Electricity Vision 30:30:30 which targets generation of 30 GW in 2030, with 30 percent from renewable energy sources.

"Africa has trillions of cubic feet of natural gas reserves, billions of barrels of crude oil reserves and billions of tonnes of coal. But Africa has an even greater abundance of renewable energy resources. Unfortunately, of the nearly 1.5 billion people estimated to lack electricity supply world over, half live in Africa.

"Nigeria alone is estimated to have over 90 million people living without electricity supply, according to the World Bank," Mr. Yusuf said.

The director, who was addressing the conference on behalf of the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, also revealed that Nigeria’s power generation capacity at the moment stood at 7,000MW and the country had recently inaugurated several renewable energy projects.

Among the renewable energy projects that came online recently were the 10MW Katsina Wind Farm and the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydro-power project. He also disclosed that larger projects such as the 3050 MW Mambilla Hydro-power and 700 MW Zungeru Hydro-power initiatives as well as the 14 Solar IPPs were expected to come on stream in the near future.

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