Subsidy Removal: FG to expedite deployment of renewable energy
Amid rising cost of energy, especially the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, the Federal Government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has said that renewable energy projects would be accelerated across the country.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, disclosed this as he inspected a solar hybrid mini-grid project in Danchitagi Community, Lavun Local Council of Niger State last Friday.
Disclosing that the inspection was embarked on to evaluate the project’s impact on beneficiary communities and ensure compliance with approved technical standards set by the agency, Ahmad noted that similar visits had been made to project sites in Lagos, Osun and Ogun States earlier this month.
The Danchitagi Village project developed by Power Gen and located in Lavun local council is a fully operational 200kWp solar hybrid mini-grid with 450kWh Li-ion batteries, benefiting over 700 users and 13 productive users in the predominantly farming community.
It was deployed under the Performance-Based Grant (PBG) programme of the Solar Hybrid Mini Grid component of the Nigeria Electrification Project with funding from the World Bank.
During the visit, the REA team assessed the mini-grid’s impact on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Danchitagi village. They also observed how the project efficiently powers the community’s rice mill, hair salons, cold drink stores, welding businesses as well as residential homes.
Through the NEP-PBG initiative, over 80 similar mini-grids have been deployed across the country, ensuring equitable access to electricity.
The community rice mill in Danchitagi serves as a prime example of Productive Use of Energy (PUE) and is part of the pilot equipment tested under the REA’s Energising Agriculture Programme (EAP).
The programme, implemented by the agency with support from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), aims to boost Nigeria’s GDP, accelerate renewable energy adoption and unlock agricultural productivity.
The successful impact of the EAP pilot in Danchitagi village showcases the potential for replication in other locations nationwide.
Speaking during the visit, Ahmad gave assurance that the agency would continue its accelerated deployment of impactful energy access projects while maintaining standardised implementation.
He emphasised the importance of placing people at the centre of energy access programmes and initiatives.
He said: “REA’s mini-grids continue to catalyse productive use of energy, driving socioeconomic development.”
He also highlighted the cost-saving benefits of renewable energy, particularly after the recent removal of fuel subsidies, as beneficiaries can now rely on clean energy to power their homes and businesses instead of costlier alternatives like petrol and diesel generators.
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