Abuja -Stakeholders in the energy sector, including the Federal Ministry of Power, GIZ and EU, on Thursday brainstormed on how Nigeria could move away from mono thermal generation to renewable energy sources.
GIZ is a German development agency.
Declaring the event open in Abuja, Dr Godknows Igali, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said Nigeria was blessed with other renewable sources that it could use to power its industries and facilities.
According to him, about 80 per cent of the nation’s energy sources currently came from the thermal generation which is prone to technical issues and energy losses.
“ Every part of Nigeria can reliably generate electricity via other sources such as solar, biomass, wind, geothermal, wave and tidal energy which could be used to generate electricity in the country.
“ The importance of this event cannot be over-emphasised because Africa still lags behind among the other continents in the world due to lack of electricity,’’ he said.
Igali said due to lack of electricity, other countries such as Europe, Asia , United States were all far more well developed economically than the African continent.
According to him, African countries witness low GDP due to the low level in energy production and utilisation.
Igali added that Europe, Asia, United States were all far more developed than African because they had more per capita consumption of electricity than the continent.
” For the countries in Africa to make any impact in terms of economic development, they must make energy available to the people.”
He explained that it was due to energy shortages in Nigeria that the ministry was collaborating with other stakeholders to ensure that the nation devised other means for power generation.
Igali explained that since 1759 when Benjamin Franklyn developed electricity, it had been the hub through which any economic development could take place.
According to him, renewable energy would assist Nigeria in ensuring that majority of its rural areas were developed.
He reiterated that thermal generation was suitable in the southern part of Nigeria because of nearness to gas plants while solar energy was more suitable to the north because of abundance of sunlight.
The nation, he said, had sustained 4,500 megawatts of power for period of six months now, adding that the country would keep it up.
He said that EU and GIZ were partnering some states in Nigeria to ensure that they could generate electricity through renewable energy sources.
Igali, therefore, called on stakeholders in the sector to collaborate with the ministry to ensure that the nation’s energy sector was developed.
Earlier, Marya Abranytes, Programme Manager, European Union, said EU had been assisting Nigeria in its programmes and would also help the country to realise the goal of powering the country via renewable energy.
Mr Daniel Werner, Head of Programme, GIZ, Nigerian Energy Support Programme, said that GIZ had been part of the process of ensuring that Nigeria developed its energy sector.
Werner said that GIZ would continue to assist Nigeria in its power programmes.(NAN)