Against the backdrop of search for off-grid solutions to the Nigeria’s challenge to energy access, the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) has urged Nigerian Government to translate most of its energy policies into practical implementation.

REGAN specifically advocated for consistency, implementation of polices and creation of enabling business environment as incentives for developers and investors in off-grid energy in Nigeria.

REAN President, Mr Segun Adaju, made the call at a workshop for the launch of the task force on the development of Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) through off-grid solutions in Abuja.

The theme of the workshop, “Scaling Off-Grid Energy” , was convened by Power For ALL, an international agency in partnership with USAID, Power Africa and FHI360.

The 32-member taskforce on renewable energy, comprise of representatives of stakeholders from the public and private sectors and donor agencies, with mandate to identify strategies to accelerate expansion of off-grid energy in Nigeria.

The team is also mandated to identify priorities and support specific stakeholder-led actions that will broaden Nigeria’s energy policy goals.

Adaju said the quickest solution to the challenge of energy deficit in the country was to deploy renewable technology using off-grid solutions.

He said: “We know that the major challenge in Nigeria is lack of power and the quickest and fastest solution is to deploy off-grid energy.

“So, this taskforce is to come together and think of how to get this done. What are the constraints, how do we overcome the challenges, in simple terms, how do will get Nigerians more electricity?”

Adaju said it was important for Nigeria to follow the strategies adopted in developing off-grid technologies in countries like Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, India and Ruwanda, among others.

He said there was the need for the government to be more practical in implementing policies on provision of incentives for renewable practitioners in the country.

“None of the members of REAN accessed the incentives provided by the Federal Government in the power sector over the years.

“The second is to ensure set standards, control the standard of renewable energy products coming into Nigeria.

“Right now, sub-standard products come into Nigeria, we see projects done, like solar street lights and they are not working, so it is killing the industry.

“So, set standards and implement it, let us have labels for the products and anybody who is found wanting should be prosecuted,” he said.

Adaju said that there was the need to create more opportunities for investors to come into the sector through ease of doing business.

“If we do these things just like we saw mobile phones explode, we will see mini grid energy increase in quantum,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Power For All, Kristina Skierka, said the DRE task force team was out to really make a difference in the energy sector.

She said the strategy of the taskforce would be driven by stakeholders’ participation.

She said the strategies would consolidate government’s efforts and support in driving universal electricity access in Nigeria, particularly rural electrification.

The Representative of USAID, Roseanne Casey, said the organisation had been a funding partner in power sector programmes, adding that the organisation was committed to the off-grid sector development in Nigeria.

Casey said USAID was working to support the integration of private sector and financing.

“As a donor, we are trying to incentivise and to facilitate commercial viability in the power sector for the people to be in control and provide their own power,” she said.