August, 9
Government and investors are in talks on new IPP solar project
Rather than wait for policy makers to resolve inherent risks in large-scale renewable energy development, the Federal Government has opted instead to meet with prospective private investors, to address issues and challenges hindering construction of the first ever Independent Power Producer (IPP) solar project.
The government through the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and other stakeholders recently met investors in Lagos under the "Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Investor's Forum".

The forum supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was meant to create awareness among stakeholders, establish the current status and challenges of on-grid renewable electricity generation in Nigeria.

The project comes as a component of a five-year Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported project titled: De-Risking Renewable Energy NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action) for Nigerian Power Sector being implemented by UNDP, ECN, Federal Ministry of Environment and Federal Ministry of power, Works and Housing.

The objective of the project is assisting the government in achieving a transformation in the electricity mix such that at least 20 GW of electricity is generated from solar PV by 2030.
ECN Director-General, Prof Eli Jidere Bala, said "The inherent risks in large-scale RE development in Nigeria has made it difficult for policy makers in the sector to reach some agreements with prospective private investors willing to exploit this huge renewable energy resources in the country."
He said: "IPPs now depend on international Development Finance Institutions (DFI), who require partial risk guarantee (PRG) from Federal Governments."

Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who commended UNDP and other stakeholders for their roles in the project, pledged lawmakers commitment to enacting, amending subsisting Acts and adopting appropriate policies that would help to reduce environmental pollution, achieve a cleaner and greener economy.

The stakeholders recommended that the authorities should make investments in the power sector attractive; special domestic financing with one digit (4 per cent and below) interest rate should be made available to renewable energy IPPs and will not require guarantees.
On the lack of professionals and technicians / skilled in renewable energy technologies, the stakeholders sought for collaboration between the investors and the training Institutions.

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