“I foresee a future where renewables will contribute at least 30% of the energy mix in Nigeria.”

Segun AdajuInterview with Segun Adaju, Chief of Party, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project, Winrock International, Nigeria. Mr Adaju is a speaker on day 2 of the upcoming WAPIC in Lagos, and will address the conference on: “Renewable energy solutions for productive use”.

Please can you give us an overview of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project?
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP) is funded by USAID and implemented in Nigeria by Winrock International. The goal of REEEP is to facilitate the development and financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency markets in Nigeria. It has four component areas of intervention which are:

  1. To create access to clean energy financing by building a pipeline of projects that can be funded and developed to provide alternative energy to health facilities, schools, businesses, agribusinesses etc.
  2. Build the capacity of financial institutions to provide finance to bankable clean energy projects.
  3. Promote awareness of the clean energy technologies and also train artisans, technicians, experts that will provide support to install, maintain and provide after-sale services to the sector.
  4. Strengthen the capacity of government institutions to enact appropriate clean energy legislations. REEEP is a 4-year project ending 2018.

Any projects in the power sector that you are involved in that you are particularly excited about currently?
We are finalizing a proposal for a leading private university in Nigeria to adopt a 2MW small hydro power plant as replacement for diesel generators. We are also engaging with all relevant partners to convert a rice husk in some major rice mills and small scale rice millers in East Nigeria to energy to power their operations using gasifiers. We are also working on projects that will provide alternative drying solutions using clean energy to cocoa farmers in South West Nigeria.

Any success stories that will make a big difference in the lives of consumers that you can share?
We have built the capacity of a major bank and another microfinance bank in Nigeria and lending to the sector has commenced. We are on the verge of concluding a consumer finance product with the leading bank that will make available to all employed staff the option of powering their houses with clean energy while they pay over time from their salaries.

What in your opinion are the biggest challenges to the power industry in Nigeria?  And in the region?
The biggest challenges include awareness of clean energy technologies, low quality of existing technologies and installations and dearth of finance in the sector.

What is your vision for this industry?
My vision is to see the rapid uptake of clean energy options using various available and abundant resources in replacement of fossil fuel.  I foresee a future where renewables will contribute at least 30% of the energy mix in Nigeria.

What will be your message at WAPIC this year?
To call on potential stakeholders to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the sector. The opportunity that is waiting to be tapped is far and above that realized under the telecommunications boom in Nigeria.

How important is this event on the power calendar of the region?
This event is very important to the power sector and its calendar in Nigeria.

Anything you would like to add?
I look forward to stakeholders sharing success stories in future events as a fallout of this year’s edition.