Nigeria, home to nearly 200 million people, has a low available on-grid capacity at under 5,000MW. Off such a low base, how will access to electricity increase in a meaningful way? The answer may lie in decentralised energy policy – a keynote topic at Future Energy Nigeria.

This article first appeared in ESI Africa Issue 4-2019.
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As the official media partner to Future Energy Nigeria, we spoke with four of the event’s ambassadors, all industry leaders in their own right, who are excited about the opportunities offered by Nigeria’s energy sector.

According to Terje Osmundsen, CEO of Empower New Energy, the price of solar panels has dropped 90% since he first visited Africa, promoting solar PV in 2009. Along with the significant drop in battery storage costs, these have opened many opportunities. “This, in combination with a regulatory regime allowing for on-site generation plus the emergence of providers of international financing like our company, should open numerous prospects in the years to come,” states Osmundsen.

When asked what he is looking forward to at Future Energy Nigeria, Osmundsen said: “Nigerian businesses are to a large extent powered by costly and polluting diesel gensets. At Future Energy Nigeria I anticipate discussing with decision makers and professionals how onsite and distributed renewables can make a difference.”

The decentralised market in Nigeria is making steadfast progress, explains Wim Jonker Klunne, the Lead Coordinator of EEP Africa Trust Fund. EEP Africa focuses on bridging the gap between a good idea and a bankable project by providing part financing to project proposals. “From EEP Africa we have supported over 200 projects in the region. Most of these projects have been very successful in providing energy access, creating jobs, and reducing carbon emissions,” Jonker Klunne explains.

Another Future Energy Nigeria ambassador, Pule Segale, Civil Engineer and Future Leader at the

World Energy Council, believes there is tremendous growth in the energy sector, which is definitely an input for economic development.

“I envision an energy mix, powered by renewable energy. Where consumers and governments alike are able to think about energy access rather that electricity access. Where we deploy the correct form of energy for a specific purpose, because all energy is not electricity,” says Segale, adding: “I envision decentralised renewable energy as a driving force in rural and peri-urban communities, and there are fewer barriers to renewable energy investment in developing markets.”

West Africa needs collaborative strategic partnerships to develop integrated energy systems in the region, explains Segale. “I am thinking finance and business solutions in one room. The event will bring together innovators, engineers and other professionals, making it a valuable engagement for the sector and region in 2019.”

According to Eric Bruggeman, CEO of the SA Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), Nigeria is a market that South African manufacturers should explore. “We [as a country] could benefit hugely from the opportunities that exist in Nigeria, which is a huge market. With the expertise that the show’s organiser, Spintelligent, offers all of us, especially in terms of meeting the right person at the Future Energy Nigeria exhibition, it’s an opportunity we should not miss.” ESI

About the event
Meet with these and many other energy experts at Future Energy Nigeria in Lagos on 12-13 November 2019.
Download the programme to find the conference or Knowledge Hub session that matches your needs. www.future-energy-nigeria.com