BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
West Africa’s most populous state, Nigeria, is to receive a grant of US$ 50 million to help it solve its energy problems by bringing about more efficiency and exploring renewable energy alternatives.
This follows an announcement Friday, February 22, 2013 by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), of an agreement to provide Nigeria with US $50 million to support an African Development Bank-supported programme of financial intermediation for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
This, the CIF says it will do through local banks, as part of the country’s national Investment Plan endorsed by the CIF in 2010.
The money, being provided under the CIF’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF), is designated to stimulate alternative and efficient ways to generate electricity and to reduce dependence on energy sources which contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.
According to managers of the fund, it will be used to stimulate investment in downstream opportunities that would lead to greater energy efficiency through a range of technologies, including industrial energy efficiency investments, renewable energy, renewable-based hybrid systems, and cleaner fuels and combustion processes.
Meanwhile, the CTF money will complement support provided through the AfDB private sector window, to help the country address energy efficiency in critical sectors such as power, agribusiness, transport, telecommunications, and education, by targeting local financial institutions to invest and support the shifts to clean, efficient and affordable energy in the sectors.
The statement making the announcement of the grant says work to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewables is in line with the country’s national policy framework designed to lead the country to an ambitious set of energy goals.
These include rural energy scale-up and actions to ensure energy efficiency through a combination of regulations and incentives at the national scale.