‘Apathy, absence of patient capital drag renewable energy penetration in Nigeria’
The Managing Director, Gennex Technologies, Mr. Patrick Ilo, has stated that apathy and the lack of long-term investments are major factors hindering the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.
He stated that there is still a lukewarm attitude on the part of investors to invest in the renewable sector, noting that investors believe the renewable business is not a profitable venture.
He stated this on the sidelines of the Gennex Colloquium 2022 in Lagos.
“A lot of people are not venturing into renewables today because they think it does not work. To me, I believe there is a knowledge gap. In this sector, you do not get your profits as quickly as possible, so, the craze for quick money is a factor,” he said.
He, however, commended the Federal Government’s efforts to bolster the renewable sector, saying that the government has staked a lot in making sure the sector thrives.
“The government has actually introduced a scheme through the ministry of power to attract zero per cent duty on renewable energy materials. There are lots of tax concessions and tax holidays given to operators in this sector,” he added.
Earlier, the Executive Director, Gennex Technologies, Mrs. Toyin Ilo, said the colloquium was founded six years ago with the vision of revolutionising the off-grid solar and renewable energy space in Nigeria, pointing out that Gennex Technologies has remained true to this vision.
She added that through its innovative solutions, the company has helped many companies and individuals across Nigeria make a seamless transition to clean, renewable energy.
“Our product categories are top of the range in the industry, and by deploying our expert and experienced personnel to cutting-edge projects, our solar installation systems are cost-effective and very durable,” she said.
According to her, the renewable energy sector has made tremendous progress over the last several years, from opening up of the sector to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), standardisation of inputs to key policy thrusts designed to galvanise investments in the sector and ensuring smooth transition to clean energy. She noted that despite the giant strides, challenges still abound.
“One of the major challenges confronting our sectors is how to properly size and design solar solutions to make them more cost-effective and at the same time durable.
“At Gennex, we have blazed the trail by coming up with innovative approaches to tackling this problem, but the situation in the entire industry is not helped by the proliferation of inexperienced and unqualified ‘solar installers’ who advise commercial, industrial and even residential customers on solutions design and sizing, and choice of inputs,” she said.
She further explained that the industry is still grappling with the challenge of substandard inputs and components, which she said has the capacity to erode the confidence of customers in their journey to transition to renewable energy.
“The final challenge the industry is grappling with is how to ensure that commercial and industrial customers, as well as other end users, have access to innovative financial packages to assist them in the uptake of solar solutions,” she said.
The Director of Marketing, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Engr. Richard Adewunmi, said SON’s absence at the port used to be a reason why substandard solar products found their way into Nigeria’s market, saying that the six months grace given to SON to be at the port would address the challenge to the barest minimum.
He added that the sector is also bedeviled by a proliferation of quack installers and their sharp practices to cut corners.
The Sector Head, Renewable Energy Sector, Sterling Bank, Seyi Okunuga, said the devaluation of the naira, the impact of renewable energy is not being felt.
He added that operators in the industry must engage in credible partnerships to deliver value to their customers while also staying afloat.
On her part, the Chief Commercial Officer, Arnergy Solar, Omobola Omofaiye, said the federal government has been very supportive of driving growth in the renewable energy sector in its bid to power homes and create employment for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.
She stated the need for Nigeria to invest in a local production of solar products, pointing out that being an import-dependent country, a lot is being spent on the importation of solar products into the country.
She also advised on the need for the federal government to incentivise companies and operators in the industry, maintaining that solar has come to stay.