The Nigeria Energy Forum is a capacity building, training and development programme for policy makers, business leaders, energy users, professional engineers, industry experts. The 2019 NEF, was hosted on the 9th and 10th of April, 2019, at the Admiralty Conference Centre, VI, Lagos, Nigeria, which attracted over 230 key energy stakeholders. The theme of this year forum was Upscaling Clean Energy for Sustainable Development.
The major keynote sessions include:
- The Electrification Financing Initiative, (ElectriFi),
- Digital Energy Management in Commercial and Industrial Facilities,
- Making Bankable Energy Projects
- Women in Energy.
The event had All-On as the platinum sponsor, Sterling Bank, as Gold sponsor and Starsight as Bronze sponsor. In attendance were major stakeholders in the renewable energy space inclusive of investors, founders, academicians, company employees and opportunities seekers.
According to Iiham Talab, a representative of GET, an European multi-donor programme, “The key problem is not lack of funding, as might be expected, instead it is the lack of presentable, bankable projects”. She mentioned that the programme is majorly to support Off-grid solutions and look out of new ideas or on-going projects that needs improvement. Projects must be proved in terms of scalability, replicability and financial viability.
The first keynote session was the formal launch of the ElectriFi program in Nigeria, a 30 million Euro sustainable energy investment fund. It was the opening of an investment window in Nigeria mainly to focus on off-grid and captive power projects. This was launched by Mr Ketil Karsen, Head of European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
According to him, the fund will be available to Renewable Energy (RE) developers in the country, with a focus on the development of off-grid as well as captive projects.
“Looking at the Nigeria energy sector is absolutely vital. Nigeria has a population growth, a lot of energetic private sector initiative and entrepreneurs in the country.
“For the EU, this is another opportunity for us to show how much support we are giving to this initiative. We have put aside significant funding.”
Olusakin the Channel Marketing Manager for Schneider Electric led the second keynote session. He gave an insightful session on the essence of digital energy management, how to ensure active energy management and how Schneider electric is bridging the gap. According to Olusakin, good power quality saves time and money contributing to increased uptime, a safe workplace, prolongs equipment life and increased efficiency. Closing the loop requires connecting to a digital network, collecting data to analyse the problem, converting data into meaningful insights and taking actions into real time information and business logistics. Energy management turns power system into an asset
Dr. khadijat Jose-Adelaja led the panellists for the Women in Energy session. Some of the panellists include Engr. A. Owolabi, CEO, Wurvicat Ltd, Ujunwa Ojemeni, Senior Investment Associate All-on and Anita Otubu, Head of Special Projects, Rural Electrification Agency. During this session, these reputable women gave insightful contributions. They all laid emphasizes on why ladies need to come out and begin to embrace challenges thereby enhancing productivity.
The forum closes with a presentation by Adesola Alii, Head of Renewable Energy, Sterling Bank who gave a presentation on how sterling bank has been committed to funding renewable energy projects.
Side attractions include an interview with a participant at the forum, Omolola Kafi (B.Sc, Microbiology-Bowen University; M.Sc, Energy from Waste-Cranfield University). She narrated that Waste to Energy would be a great alternative because in a country like Nigeria, Waste is not properly managed, therefore converting waste to energy would provide a sustainable city. In order to go about this, a lot of work would be carried out starting from sorting out the municipal wastes to getting sustainable feedstocks. There is need to begin awareness campaign on the need to sort out wastes before disposing in different bins.
Key Recommendations made at the Forum include:
- Improved coordination and collaboration among key energy stakeholders in the public and private sector is required to ensure appropriate on-grid and off-grid energy solutions are implemented across different communities in Nigeria.
- Local and international partners must mobilize private investments for renewable energy projects, including off-grid and commercial and industrial captive power schemes, with partial risk guarantees provided by the public sector.
- Energy equipment providers must develop more-efficient power and cooling technologies that can reduce energy demand, enable digital energy management, minimize noise pollution and improve cost savings, thereby promoting environmental sustainability.
- Renewable energy investors and developers must explore innovations in financial engineering for making bankable projects, minimizing risks of currency depreciation, increasing new connections and creating new jobs in a low-carbon economy.
- A Clean Energy Infrastructure Fund should be developed by the Bank of Industry, Central Bank of Nigeria and local investors for empowering women in energy, training young professionals and expanding local manufacturing capability for both the off-grid and on-grid sectors.
- Renewable energy funders and developers will require technical assistance on project preparation, risk assessments and local staff training to boost investor confidence, improve project specification and facilitate ruthless implementation.
- Regulatory regimes that can attract more private investments into smart metering and low-carbon technologies including on grid and off grid solar, wind, biomass, small hydro and distributed gas-to-power systems should be developed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
More pictures are available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAmueVP
Speaker slides with insights are available at: https://www.thenef.org/insights/