Nigeria has largest un-electrified population in Africa
Nigeria is said to have the largest un-electrified population in Africa as a result of insufficient generation and frequent blackout from grid-connected areas.
This was the position adopted by participants at the European Union funded Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) workshop which opened in Abuja yesterday with the aim of training Nigerians investors to explore the opportunities in Mini-Grid development using renewable energy options.
According to the NESP, “Nigerians have heavily invested in small private fuel gensets. Their installed capacity is estimated to be well above the available on-grid generation capacity. However, fluctuating fuel prices and irregular fuel supply affect their affordability and reliability. This together with Nigeria’s vast natural resources wealth makes a strong case for decentralised renewable energies.”
Mr Jannik Moller, NESP Head, Rural Electrification said that the Mini-Grid or Mini Power Service Provide concept was introduced under the programme to enable the private sector invest in the setting up of a one Mega Byte (one million kilo watts) generating capacity in off-grid areas for onward distribution to residents.
“We are hopeful that this concept will extend electricity to off-grid areas especially rural areas which do not have access to grid electricity,” Moller said.
He said that when in place, patronisers of the mini-grid would have to pay more for the electricity they would consume as the concept would be purely private sector/commercial driven.