Over $3.6 billion has been invested in renewable energy in Africa, including Nigeria, with Egypt and Kenya taking centre stage.
The Bank of Industry (BoI) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled plans to boost Nigeria’s investment portfolio in renewable energy through private sector participation.
The Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu who was represented by Mr Austin Jo-Madugu, General Manager, Operations, disclosed this during the First Renewable Energy Investment Forum in Abuja. She said renewable energy has a large potential for growth given the large gap between energy demand and supply and the enormous renewable energy options available to the country.
She said: “There was the urgent need to make renewable energy sector private driven to harness the abundance of renewable energy source in the country. The alternative energy programme tagged, Access to Renewable Energy (AtRE), is organised to create a forum to interface investors with project developers in the renewable energy sector.”
Ms Oputu, said most of the renewable energy projects embarked upon have been more from the governments at the federal, states or Local government levels. This is why the BoI in conjunction with the UNDP are making effort to feature Nigeria in global Renewable Energy investment portfolio through private sector investment.
“Already, investment in Renewable Energy across the globe has increased in recent time, moving from $33billion in 2004 to $211billion as at June, 2011. Africa also has its own share of the emerging market, with investment in alternative energy source, growing from $750million in 2004 to $3.6billion in 2011.
Also speaking, the UNDP Deputy Director, Nigeria, Jan Thomas Hiemstra, said, having worked with various government agencies, the attention of the UN agency, is directed at engaging private investors in Nigeria with a view to making them take active role in renewable energy development in the country.
The economic uncertainty in the country, he said is limiting the capacity of Nigerian banks to grant loans to investors in renewable energy sector.