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‘Favourable policies key to attracting investment in renewables’

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PHOTO: ZEN energy

To address Nigeria’s power needs, the present administration must address issues bordering on its regulatory framework, by developing consistent and favourable policies to attract local and foreign investment into the nation’s power sector.

This was the view of Wartsila’s Managing Director/ Business Development Manager Africa North, Nigeria and Ghana, Wale Yusuff.

Yusuff stated that with gas production becoming the major focus of the oil and gas companies in response to strong global appetite for gas as well as growing investments in regional gas-to-power projects, the federal government needs to formulate the right policies and business environment to attract both local and foreign investments to bridge its energy needs.

Yusuff, at a stakeholders’ meeting added that: “These are some of the areas we have to focus on and we also have to push for the right advocacies even from the National Assembly to make sure that the right laws are made and enforced. We must create the right environment for investors to come. Policies are very important as the whole world is talking about renewable and we must also look at that versus the energy sources that we have. We should also look at how we can get a right mix to get the right tariff for the country.”

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He added that in addressing the power issues, Nigeria must decentralize its energy generation systems, deploy the use of modular power solutions, improve its efficiency in less fuel consumption and focus attention on renewable integration.

The Director, Africa West, Wartsila Energy Business, Marc Thiriet, called on the need for more investments in power plants and energy production to be distributed deploying the use of captive power plants in Nigeria.

He said gas production plays an important role in maximizing the utilisation of renewable energy, adding that renewable penetration is already happening in Nigeria, but not growing at a pace comparable to other countries.

According to him, investment in renewable energy in Nigeria is massive, maintaining that report reveals that penetration of renewable in Africa is expected to reach 45 per cent by 2040.

“It is very clear that world is going towards 100 per cent renewable energy production. Renewable is coming to Nigeria and to be able to integrate and manage it in Nigeria like in the rest of the world, there may be a need for balancing flexible power that is able to act fast and I think Nigeria is in a very unique position welcoming renewable, because there is so much gas available and we strongly believe that gas is the energy that will be able to balance the intermittency of renewable technology.”

The Senior Manager, Market Development, Africa, Wartsila Energy Business, Frederic Baralon, said renewable provides cheap electricity, advising that their output must be maximized whenever possible.

According to him, Nigeria by 2030, would have an installed capacity of 32.0GW and a base load of 18.7 GW, but stated that the 18.7 GW clearly cannot operate the base load.

He said the pathway for Nigeria by 2030 would see a demand of fluctuation and intermittency of renewable creating a demand landscape for rigid base load plants to operate, stressing that flexible gas and base load both have roles to play in a balanced gas penetration portfolio.

The Senior Developer, IPP project Development/Strategy, Wartsila Energy Business, Nicolas Mathon, said there is an obvious need for additional power generation capacities to be developed in Nigeria, saying that the private sector is critical to achieving a sustainable power for all.

He noted that maximizing renewable generation is essential in ensuring a sustainable and profitable future for the energy industry, adding that the company’s ambition is to lead the energy industry’s transformation towards a future that utilizes 100 per cent renewable with flexible capacity as the enabler.

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