Experts call for special funding for energy efficiency utilization

Rafat Salami, Abuja

Experts in Nigeria’s energy sector have asked government to establish a special fund to help the country begin its energy efficiency utilization programmes.

They made the call at the Energy Efficiency Seminar and exhibition in Abuja where experts gathered to discuss how to maximize the available energy in Nigeria and minimize waste.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission Dr Anthony Akah, told participants that lack of energy efficiency in the utilization of the limited energy available was costing a loss of nearly 25% of energy generated.

He explained that ‘‘efficient use of the available energy would in the long run reduce cost of energy and conserve more for further distribution.’’

Special Fund
The National Project Coordinator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) sponsored Energy Efficiency Programme, Mr. Etiosa Uyigue who delivered a paper at the seminar, said a special fund was important because the upfront cost for renewable energy was high.

 ‘‘The fund could be applied in several ways. It could be in the form of an incentive for those that want to use renewable energy as alternative source of energy…it could be a tariff holiday for a period of time and it could be also to subsidize for the product,’’ he said.

He further mentioned that such incentives were already available as models for emulation in countries like Ghana.

Similarly, the Assistant General Manager, Renewable and Research Development, Dr Abdussalam Yussuf said government needs to provide funding to encourage people to choose energy efficient buildings, equipment and lighting above those that are not energy efficient.

‘‘The fund could also be available for those who want to switch to energy efficiency. There are companies who are available to help people change their systems to more energy efficient ones and you pay over time. Such firms would need funding support to help them accomplish this,’’ he said.

Energy Usage
The orgnaiser of the Youth corps member at the forum Deborah Tamuno-Tonye Braide said Nigerians can contribute to ensuring that the minimal power generated achieves more mileage through energy efficiency and energy conservation.

She said ‘‘if we all say we are going to change our incandescent bulbs to energy bulbs, we are going to save so much energy. If we turn off our lights and appliances when not in use, we would save so much energy. We would then free up more electricity from the grid and more persons would have access.’’

They all agreed that while government was working towards improving electricity generation, more efficient use of the available energy was a quick-win that would yield instant results both for the individual and the nation.