the European Union and Germany, in conjunction with the Federal Government, have inaugurated two solar-powered plants with a combined capacity of 100 kilowatts in Plateau State under the €24.5m (N8.75bn) Nigerian Energy Support Programme.
The NESP is jointly financed by the EU and the government of Germany, and the solar-powered mini-grids inaugurated in Plateau State are among the six projects implemented under the energy support programme.
It was gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the six projects established in remote areas not connected to the national power grid would provide electricity to over 10,000 people in Ogun, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto and Cross River states.
The Head of Development Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Mr. Kurt Cornelis, explained that one core area of the NESP was in supporting sustainable energy access in off-grid areas in Nigeria.
He stated that the Rural Electrification and Sustainable Energy Access initiative of the NESP would improve energy access in rural areas using clean technologies, adding that public partners at federal and state levels would receive support in establishing policies, master plans and regulations needed for sustained electrification across the country.
On the Plateau new solar mini-grids, Cornelis stated that 2,500 people would have access to clean sustainable energy following the inauguration of the plants at the Angwan Rina and Demshin communities of Shendam Local Government Area.
The Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Ms. Regine Hess, stated that through the NESP, the EU and the German government would support the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and other stakeholders in Nigeria’s power sector to ensure that energy solutions such as the mini-grid approach were replicated and scaled up.
She stated that additional 100,000 rural inhabitants in several states across Nigeria would receive support from the programme until 2020.
Hess stated, “In this programme, state and federal frameworks are piloted with private sector companies that construct and operate six mini-grids in the NESP partner states. Altogether, these solar-based systems provide sustainable electricity to more than 10,000 people who previously did not have access to electricity.
“Additionally, productive users such as shop owners, welders or millers can benefit from stable electricity in future.”