President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed the Nigerian government’s target to generate 30 gigawatts of electricity by 2030. This was stated during a panel discussion at the ongoing “Just Energy Transition” Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.
As a reaction to climate change-related challenges, he described the administration’s comprehensive energy transition plan.
According to Buhari, “As part of the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy, we set the vision 30:30:30, which aims at achieving 30GW of electricity by 2030, with renewable energy contributing 30 percent of the energy mix.“Last year, Nigeria became the first African country to develop a detailed Energy Transition Plan to tackle both energy poverty and climate change and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net zero by 2060.
“Our Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the plan earlier this year and adopted it as a national policy. As part of the plan, we intend to completely eliminate the use of petrol/diesel generators by 2060 and therefore need to deploy renewables, particularly solar, at an unprecedented scale.
“For instance, the Energy Transition Plan requires that 5.3 GW of Solar be deployed annually until 2060 to achieve our targets.”
The president went on to explain that the Nigerian government has begun a number of reforms, including the implementation of mini-grid laws and the incorporation of renewable energy into the national grid.
He mentioned some improvements that had a favorable influence on Nigeria’s energy sector.
The president stated, “Our aggressive power sector reforms have resulted in cost-reflective tariffs in the power sector for the first time since privatization. Under the Nigeria Electrification Project, over four million people have been impacted through solar mini-grids and solar stand-alone systems. With respect to hydro, the Zungeru hydropower project is nearing completion and will add 700MW in capacity to the grid.”
In addition, Buhari requested “substantial financial and technical support” to fulfill the objectives.
According to him,“For instance, our analysis shows that delivering the Energy Transition Plan requires $1.9 trillion spending up to 2060, including $410 billion above business-as-usual spending.“This additional financing requirement translates to a $10 billion investment needed per annum. Between 2000 and 2020, just $3 billion per year was invested in renewable energy in the whole of Africa.
“Consequently, the $10 billion per year target of our Energy Transition Plan represents a significant scaling of current investment flows and we need support from the US to mobilize the needed resources. It is important to note that for African countries, the cost of finance and perceived investment risk remains significantly higher than for developed economies despite vast improvements in stability and governance.
“For our clean energy market to scale, Nigeria and more broadly Africa needs concessional, low-interest capital-led investments.
“Furthermore, we believe that the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan and the net-zero compliant investment pipeline we have developed is prime for a just energy transition partnership like the one offered to South Africa and more recently, Indonesia.
“Nigeria to seeks support from the US to be included in the G7’s Climate Partnerships List for the co-creation of a Just Energy Transition Partnership.”
Buhari also urged U.S. firms and the international community to “exploit the innovation and potential returns in our large, untapped market.”
Earlier in his speech, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that communities across the continent were seeing the effects of climate change.
Blinken stated that severe storms had ravaged southern Africa; rising temperatures were igniting wildfires in northern Africa; rising sea levels posed a threat to the lives and livelihoods of island nations, and extreme weather events in central Africa exacerbated already dire food crises and fueled tensions that fueled the violent conflict.
He stated that they were cognizant of the fact that African nations had contributed very little to the crisis, but that Africa was disproportionately affected by it.
He added that asking Africans to turn their backs on economic development and opportunity in the name of a clean energy transition was both unfair and unrealistic.
Buhari stated, “First, we are partnering to conserve ecosystems. Africa is home to some of the world’s most precious ecosystems, which are critical for combating climate change.“And we are building new coalitions between African governments, the private sector, civil society to protect other vital ecosystems across the continent. Oceans are also a key part of this fight.
” That’s why we’ve launched the Ocean Conservation Pledge to encourage countries to commit to protecting at least 30 percent of their ocean waters by the year 2030.
“Second, we are partnering to make commitments and communities more resilient in the face of climate change. The President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience is working with national governments to help more than half a billion people in developing countries manage the impacts of climate change. “ This and other initiatives to support climate-resilient agriculture are increasingly critical as Russia’s war of aggression compounds the impact on food security.
“Africa will be at the center of the clean energy transition. Its renewable energy potential is second to none. It’s home to roughly a third of all critical minerals, essential to the technology that will power the clean energy economy, like batteries for renewable energy storage and wind turbines.
“But with nearly half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population lacking reliable access to electricity and the population set to grow to more than two billion people by 2050, how that transition is made will be decisive in shaping our future climate.
“The United States will work closely with African countries as they determine how best to meet their specific energy needs – understanding that, for many, the clean energy transition will be a transition to consistent, reliable energy in the first place. We’ll do so through programs like Power Africa, which has mobilized the public and private sectors to deliver cleaner, more reliable electricity to over 165 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who previously didn’t have access. We’re proud to announce a new investment of $290 million in that program.”