Impact of solar policy in Nigeria
Covid-19 and the resilience of solar energy
Despite covid-19 restriction of movement which crippled so many sectors of the world. Solar power has been resilient, although it saw a 20% reduction in power generation, which was due to the close of factories, social distancing guidelines, financial constraints, and disruption of the supply chain for the industry. The International Energy Agency IEA forecasts that additions of renewable electricity capacity will decline by 13% in 2020 compared with 2019, the first downward trend since 2000. However, it will come back faster and stronger than any other sector in the world. As a result, 2021 is forecasted to almost reach the level of renewable capacity additions of 2019.
Solar in Africa
Countries in Africa have started shifting attention to solar power. Although there is still much work to be done. Especially when Africans have a huge deficit of power generation and distribution. About 770 million people do not have access to electricity in Africa with a large percent in the sub -Sahara. Kenya is fairly located along the equator given it enough access to sunlight throughout the year, it is among the country in the front-line of solar in Africa. The government of Kenya put in place policies to improve solar companies investment in the country. Which include scaling up renewable energy program put into effects the elimination of import duties and value-added tax (VAT) on all renewable energy-related imports. A feed-in tariff has also been introduced to help the uptake of the energy produced from renewable sources such as solar power by the citizen. Nigeria is the largest solar market in Africa and has put in place some policies to enable solar investment in the country.
Policy that favors solar energy in Nigeria
To achieve sustainable Development Goals as regard power in Nigeria. The national energy policy of 2003 approved by the federal government of Nigeria was aimed at leveraging the latent potential in power generation. The plan highlights the need to develop energy using sustainable and environmentally friendly sources. The policy emphasized electricity generation with the use of solar power among other renewable energy sources. The policy direction is to integrate public-private partnership (PPP). This means government and private-owned companies will come together to foster a way renewable energy especially solar power can be used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
As indicated by a business directory website, Businesslist.com.ng. In Nigeria over 270 solar companies already exist with more coming it is apparent that the solar future in the solar largest Africa market Nigeria, is bright. One of the global challenges of solar power in the world is policy. Nigeria as a country now has a stable policy that impacts the industry positively. With commitment shown by the Federal Government to provide five million solar systems for households through the rural electrification project which is supported by The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) that was created by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act in 2006. The new project started in late 2020 which has spilled into 2021 and with more solar projects coming up solar industry is going to see brighter days beyond 2021. This has created avenues for more companies to be involved in the production and distribution of clean energy. The REA’s goal is to encourage and promote private sector participation in rural development using the nation’s abundant renewable energy sources while ensuring that Government Agencies, Cooperatives, and Communities, actively participate in enhancing electricity service delivery.
Impact of the policy
The two policy highlighted above has had a lot of impact in the country. For instance, the 2006 reform act that was embarked on in 2020 has helped people living in rural areas that are underserved or not served at all with electricity to be independent generators of power for their basic home appliances. Companies like Lumos, Cloud energy, Rubitec energy are beneficiaries of the grant which gave them the opportunity to bring in solar accessories with a minimal import duty cost. Also, the policy was forecast-ed to employ 250000 people. Since the project started employment in the field of solar power has increased. With more solar companies rolling out in batches to be part of the REA project, solar power will soon be a major part of electricity generation in Nigeria with an immense increase in solar power capacity in 2021 and beyond.