1) Let’s start with some background on US African Development Foundation and your role there.
I am the project developer/Manager for the Ajima Minigrid Biogas system which is been sponsored by the US African Development Foundation as part of the Power Africa Beyond the Grid challenge.
2) Any particular success stories or exciting projects in the power industry that you are/were involved in that you can share?
I am currently working on a 20KW mini grid Biogas to Power system for a rural off-grid community. We are converting agricultural waste into biogas via anaerobic digestion. We are at the final stages of testing our whole system, this very exciting as we are among the first piloting biogas to power in Nigeria.
3) What in your view are the main challenges currently in the energy sector in the region?
The three biggest challenges are:
1. low electrification rate in West Africa, with majority of the populace still living with access to electricity
2. Unstable Power supply for those connected to the national grid
3. inconsistent policy framework to attract potential investors.
4) Which opportunities do these challenges present?
It provides an opportunity for decentralized renewable energy systems and minigrid which are more economical than extending the national grid. The West African corridors have the potential to harness solar, hydro, wind and biomass energy to diversify our energy mix. The challenge of low electrification provides an opportunity for us to leap frog old technologies and embraces minigrids. Finally, we need our policies to turned into act that can be regulated and provides confidence for potential investors.
5) What is your vision for the sector?
The Power sector is critical to the revitalization of the economy, it has the potential to diversify the economy and create jobs. We need to integrate renewables to our energy mix and Decentralized Renewables Energy as the driving force for rural electrification and financial stability of the distribution companies.
6) You are part of the workshop programme on off-grid during the upcoming WAPIC – can you give us a sneak preview of what your message will be at WAPIC?
I will be speaking on Biogas to Power in Nigeria: The Case of Ajima Farms’ Micro-grid, my presentation will be focused on challenges, opportunities and impact of waste to energy in the power and environmental sector.
7) Anything you would like to add?
I look forward to learning from the presentations, networking with other colleagues in the sector and expanding my network.