Disturbed by the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s power sector, stakeholders called for the establishment of a fund to support Energy Efficiency and boost the quest for alternative sources of energy.
The experts spoke at an Energy Efficiency seminar in Abuja which held on Monday, 5th September and was organized by Deborah Tamuno-Tonye Braide, a Batch B 2015 Youth Corps member as part of her NYSC Personal Community Development Service Project and sponsored by EduExtra Inc.
The acting Chairman of the commission, Anthony Akah, commended the timely effort of the corps member to create awareness on Energy Efficiency in view of the serious challenge of high estimated billing due to poor metering by the distribution companies (Discos) and low power generation.
He said NERC had put measures in place to accelerate metering through close monitoring of the Discos’ metering roll out plan. And that NERC had initiated a programme designed to ensure Energy Efficiency and Conservation. He added that efficient utilization of available energy was paramount.
The programme, he said, was designed to reduce the total electricity demand and stop Nigeria from becoming a dumping ground for inefficient electrical appliances. He said Energy Efficiency would also help in the stabilization of the electricity grid system and reduce incidence of brown out overloaded transformers.
National Project Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Energy Efficiency Programme, Etiosa Uyigue, noted that Ghana had already established a Renewable Energy 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 Abdussalam, 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. He also said government needs to provide funding to encourage people to choose energy efficient buildings; equipment and lighting above those that are not energy efficient.
‘‘The fund could also be available for those who want to switch to energy efficient alternatives. There are companies that are available to help people change their systems to more energy efficient ones and you pay over time. Such firms would need funding support to help them accomplish this,’’ he said.
A representative from EduExtra Inc, The headline sponsors for the event also stated that the company is interested in bridging future technology and existing technology to support power sector development in Nigeria. Barrister Uzoma Nwakuche represented the Silicon Valley based Company which has Prof. Rose-Margaret Ekeng and Engr. Doyle Edeni as co-founders.
The convener, Deborah Braide, stressed the importance of Energy Efficiency in the nation’s electricity power sector. She said Nigerians can contribute to ensuring that the minimal power generated achieves more mileage through Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation.
Braide, is a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member at the Renewable Energy Research and Development Division of NERC.