Exclusive interview with Lande Abudu, Executive Secretary of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN).
At the upcoming Future Energy Nigeria in Lagos from 12-13 November, REAN is a supporting association and partnering with Nextier to promote renewable energy integration through the facilitation of private sector investments.
Let’s start with some background on REAN, your members and your goals.
Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) is an association of renewable energy professionals, practitioners, individuals and organisations that are involved in promoting clean energy for sustainable living. Our association houses the major players in the Nigerian renewable energy market and they are making massive impact in electrifying Nigeria.
Recently our member (Nayo Technology) was the project developer for the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) 90kW solar hybrid mini-grid project in Kebbi State.
Auxano Solar, a member who runs the first solar assembly plant in West Africa just recently commissioned a 240kW solar hybrid system in Lugbe, Abuja. The largest solar street lighting project was completed by our member Blue Camel energy, this project worth $9 million has made the city of Jos the best lit city in Nigeria. REAN members have commissioned over 30 projects in all geopolitical zones in the country providing electricity to the unserved and underserved communities.
All these achievements are in line with our vision, which is to promote strategies that will improve the contribution of renewable energy up to 40% of the national energy mix by 2030.
Any specific projects that REAN is involved in currently that you are particularly excited about?
Apart from numerous projects within our membership, on the advocacy level, we are very much involved in the process of harmonising the Renewable Energy Bill where we seek to plug those gaps that hamper the renewable energy space from being more effective. There is a need to ensure that policies are properly implemented, and that the regulatory environment is strong. De-risking the renewable energy sector is key to unlocking its huge potential and attracting investment into it that will allow for successful scale-up
What in your view are the main challenges right now for Nigeria’s energy sector?
The still-persistent overreliance on fossil fuels, an overburdened national grid, slower than needed scale up of renewable energy solutions and sometimes haphazard policy guidelines
And the opportunities?
– Challenges also bring many opportunities –opportunities for policy makers to entrench an enabling environment.
– Attracting investment, thereby boosting the economy.
– Creating employment – for the products and services that will be needed across the entire value chain.
Tell us more about the session that REAN is involved in at the coming edition of Future Energy Nigeria?
REAN and Nextier Power are partnering on Match-Making Business Sessions to promote renewable energy integration through the facilitation of private sector investments. As mentioned earlier, improved access to finance will drive a successful scale up of renewable energy projects.
It really is about the FUTURE and laying the foundation for a successful and vibrant sector. The three-pronged approach will:
•Identify and incubate commercially viable renewable energy projects in Nigeria.
•Support and incubate such projects with emphasis on the key maker model with anchor commercial customers.
•Support and incubate such projects with the development of deal sheet and financial projections.
What will be your message at Future Energy Nigeria?
Renewable energy IS the future, not only to achieve Vision 30:30:30 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also for its potential to transform lives across Nigeria; renewable energy can be a driver for huge socioeconomic change.
What are you most looking forward to in Lagos in November?
The meeting of minds of industry stakeholders. Passion for the sector all under one roof is an excellent networking opportunity and one to share knowledge and ideas on how best to continue to move the sector forward. REAN members can only benefit from such a high-profile event.
Anything you would like to add?
Despite the challenges, REAN members are contributing greatly to reducing Nigeria’s energy access gap. They are passionate about making a difference and strongly believe that access to electricity should be a right and not a privilege.
Their efforts contribute to boosting financial and gender inclusion, entrepreneurship and overall lifestyle improvements. As an association with sustainability at its core, our activities continue to be geared toward promoting strategies that will improve the contribution of renewable energy up to 40% of the national energy mix by 2030.