Obaseki Reforms: Edo State to partner REAN to provide electricity to MSMEs – Uwaibi
The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), which is the foremost body of renewable energy professionals in Nigeria, in collaboration with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives for the Niger Delta (PIND), H2 Diplo and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), flagged off its Energy Access Roadshow in Benin City, Edo State on the 16th May, 2023. The event themed Driving Energy Transition Through Renewable Energy, targeted stakeholders in the renewable energy sector and MSMEs in the State.
The Energy Access Roadshow 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 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to equip them with crucial information and guidance to facilitate the growth of their businesses and lead the decentralisation and a nationwide spread of renewable energy.
The event was attended by over 1000 stakeholders who joined virtually and in person.
Participants included the representatives of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Office, Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Edo State Government represented by the Managing Director, Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), Mr Kelvin Uwaibi, CEOs, MSMEs, academia, media and other stakeholders in the sector.
In the opening remark and presentation by the REAN President, Ayo Ademilua (MBA), he spoke about the need for more activities, project development, innovation, and increased capacity development in the Renewable Energy sector. He emphasised that with the launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, and Nigeria’s target to achieve net zero by 2060, there is a need for renewable energy development to become decentralised and spread throughout all geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Further, the President, REAN, said Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (NETP) in collaboration with the World Bank has kept aside $410 billion to reduce carbon emissions in five key sectors including power, cooking, oil and gas, transport and industry.
Ademilua said Nigeria currently generates 13GW of electricity with less than 1GW from Renewable Energy and looks forward to generating 30GW of electricity with 9GW from Renewable Energy sources by 2030.
He added that NETP was designed to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net zero by 2060. He pointed out 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 Managing Director Edo State Investment Promotion office, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi who represented the Edo State Government, thanked the organisers; PIND, REAN, GIZ and H2 Diplo for choosing to hold such a commendable event in Edo State. He specially thanked GIZ and PIND who have partnered with the State on so many projects overtime.
He further stated that the program shouldn’t be a one off event but a project with implementable strategy and measurable results.
Mr. Uwaibi informed stakeholders present that Edo State is the first subnational to have passed an electricity bill which will enable stakeholders in the energy sector such as REAN generate, transmit and distribute electricity, adding that the bill further opens the electricity market to more investors.
He assured REAN and other partners present that the Edo State Government is committed to ensuring citizens and businesses have access to electricity.
Speaking also at the event, the PIND Foundation’s Access to Energy Manager, Dr Teslim Giwa, highlighted PIND activities, ongoing programs, and success 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 fostering partnerships towards providing 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.