Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Monday, said  Africa must intensify efforts  at  improving transmission grid for renewable energy to be effectively developed on the continent.

The minister spoke at the opening of a two- day Conference on Renewable Energy Development organised by the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CEPEEL ) of the  University of Ibadan.

The theme of the conference is “ Developing Renewable Energy in Africa; The interplay of  Technology, Economics and Law.’’

Represented by the  Director of  Renewable and Rural Power Access Department in the ministry, Farouk Yusuf, the minister said Nigeria as a committed member of both the United Nation, African Union and ECOWAS   has adopted several international treaties and policies  which  promote the use of renewable energy.

This,  he said, was in line with the national vision to provide incremental power,  and then steady  and uninterrupted power.

The minister said that the Federal Government recently approved an integrated energy MIX targets under Electricity Vision 30:30:30 which targets generation of 30 GW in  year 2030,  with 30 per cent from renewable energy sources.

“Africa has trillions standard cubic feet of natural gas reserves, billions of barrels of crude oil reserves and billions of tonnes of coal.

“But Africa has even greater abundance of renewable energy resources. Unfortunately, of the nearly 1.5 billion people estimated to lack electricity supply world over, half live in Africa.

” Nigeria alone is estimated to have over 90 million people living without electricity supply,  according to the World Bank,’’ he said.

 

The minister, who  also  said  that power generation capacity in the country currently is about 7000 MW,  added  that government was  making efforts to  complete and  inaugurate  some renewable energy projects.

He listed the projects  to include the  10 MW Katsina wind farm, 30 MW Gurara Hydro Power, 29 MW Dadin Kowa Hydro Power and 40 MW Kashimbilla Hydro Power.

The minister further disclosed that large projects such as the 3050 MW Mambilla Hydro Power  and  700 MW Zungeru Hydro power initiatives  as well as  the 14 Solar IPPs were  expected to come on stream.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi, while declaring the conference open,  said Nigeria needs  to allocate huge funds to renewable energy development in Africa

Represented by his  Chief of Staff,  Gbade Ojo, the governor said   African countries  must set  their minds to improving the level of energy efficiency that would enable the country to meet  the Sustainable Development Goals.

” Then we must propel our ship to move at full speed in proactive solution for scaling up renewable energy, ” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor of  the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, said that the theme was  relevant and critical given the current energy challenges.

” The significance  is not just for the town but also for the gown as the university spends very considerable amount of money to ensure stable electricity supply that can support research,  training and other activities,’’ he said.

The Director of the centre,  Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, said that  the provision of energy infrastructure engenders a multidisciplinary perspectives to solve energy challenges.

According to him, a multidisciplinary approach is needed for providing adequate and reliable energy infrastructure.

“The conference has been organised to learn from experiences in tackling energy challenges in the West Africa subregion.

“The conference is also aimed at showcasing the findings on renewable energy from technological, economic and political perspective in the continent, ”  he said