In West Africa, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) last week approved new regulations, which aims to promote investment in renewable energy sources and generate a minimum of 2000MW by 2020.
The regulation, Feed-in Tariff Regulations for Renewable Energy Sourced, estimates that Nigeria will generate at least 1,000MW from renewables by 2018, The Guardian reports.
NERC chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, emphasised the commission’s expectations of the new rule.
"With this regulation, we have been able to unlock further investment potentials in the country's power sector. Its major objective is to diversify our sources of electricity and take advantage of our options," he said.
Amadi explained that the regulation expects electricity distribution companies to obtain 50% of the projected electricity generated from renewables.
Likewise the Nigerian Bulk electricity Trading Company (NBET) is expected to obtain the balance of 50%.
Renewable energy sources - regulation
The regulation stipulates that the capacity for renewable plant should between 1MW and 30MW and a plant above this level is likely to require additional conditions other than those already specified in the regulation.
The regulation states: "The provisions of these regulations shall apply to all qualifying renewable energy sourced electricity of capacity above 1MW and smaller than 30MW at a site that is connected to the transmission grid or the distribution networks.
"For large renewable (30MW above) integrated resource planning will be carried out before the NERC will initiate a competitive bid process."
A statement from the commission's Head of Public Communication, Dr. Usman Arabi, noted that this provision of the law was geared towards helping the sector achieve the right mix of energy for the Discos as well as protect electricity consumers from spike in tariff.
"For instance, the regulation allots higher volume of biomass 26MW; 22MW and 19MW to Ikeja, Ibadan and Eko electricity distribution companies respectively; whereas Abuja Disco has the highest of wind sourced electricity at 14.4MW, while Port Harcourt has 11.4MW of biomass and 6.5MW of wind sourced electricity.
Arabi added "However, Kaduna and Kano Discos have highest allotments of solar sourced electricity than other Discos at 12MW, with small hydro at 10MW and biomass at 6MW apiece."