By Dotun Ibiwoye
Having built the first renewable energy power plant in Nigeria that combines more than one technology and operates both off-grid and on-grid, the German Agency for International Corporation, Abuja (GIZ), said it is implementing the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) on behalf of the European Union and the German Government with an overall budget of 24.5 million Euro.
GIZ provides advisory services to Nigerian partners on rural electrification, energy efficiency and renewable energies, and has been contributing to the success of the Nigeria-German Energy Partnership (NGEP) since 2002.
It affirmed that the Kainji plant serves as a demonstration of innovative small-scale electrification solutions which is the first renewable energy power plant in Nigeria that combines more than one technology, and is able to operate both off-grid and on-grid.
According to GIZ’s Country Director, Thomas Kirsch the hybrid power systems based on new and renewable energy sources, especially photovoltaic and wind energy, are an effective option to solve the power supply problem for remote and isolated areas far from the grid.
He explained that photovoltaics, combined with small wind turbines have gained increasing recognition as a reliable, cost effective alternative to grid extension and diesel generator sets.
“Electricity grid extension is generally uneconomical, while diesel generator sets are expensive to operate and maintain, and do not provide long-term environmentally and economically sustainable solutions, especially for the rural poor.
“The plant electrifies parts of a National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) training site in Kainji, which helps to reduce electricity costs. Furthermore, the power plant serves as a training facility for NAPTIN students,” he said.
According to Kirsch. “GIZ is implementing the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) on behalf of the European Union and the German Government with an overall budget of 24.5 million Euro. NESP advises the Nigerian Government on how best to provide reliable and sustainable electricity to its people.”
As part of its activities, Kirsch stated that NESP supports the increase of clean and sustainable electricity production by incentivizing investments in renewable energy which includes the development of a modern and transparent bidding system for renewable energy projects, by bringing the Nigerian energy sector at par with countries like South Africa.
He also said that NESP helps to improve energy access in rural Nigeria using clean technologies, in collaboration with 5 pilot states (Sokoto, Niger, Ogun, Cross River and Plateau).
“Altogether 10 projects for rural electrification will be developed in the pilot states together with private sector project developers. 10,000 people will directly benefit from NESP support: The activities of NESP are complemented with trainings of renewable energy experts to fulfill the need to establish a vibrant indigenous clean energy market,’ he said.