EU, German to invest €30 million in energy efficiency

Solar Energy

The European Union (EU), in collaboration with the German Government, through the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, is set to invest about €30million in the second phase of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), which started in the country in 2013.

NESP is a €24.5 million technical assistance programme launched to promote investments in renewable energy, rural electrification and energy efficiency in Nigeria.

The Head of Programme, NESP, Ina Hommers, disclosed this in Lagos recently, during the presentation of ISO 50001:2011 certificates to two Nigerian companies. He said unlike the first phase of the programme, which focused on policy regulation standards, and strategy in both on and off grid energy efficiency, the second leg would dwell on project implementations.

According to her, the programme has developed Nigerian experts in the areas of renewable, and energy efficiency, energy auditor for builders and architects, and solar technicians.

Nigeria, Hommers said, was chosen not only for its economic powers, but because it has one of the lowest electricity and industrial rates, hence “we want to ensure that while Nigeria gets more electricity, it is also sustainable and climate friendly.”

On the country’s capabilities on energy efficiency, Co-Founder, Ecowatt Nigeria Limited, Olakunle Owoeye, noted that with reference to a study by UNIDO, developing countries including Nigeria can attain between 25 to 40 per cent of energy efficiency.

Owoeye argued that this percentage is achievable in Nigeria, if the top management of Nigerian companies keyed into the energy efficiency measures by formulating energy policy in their individual companies.

He advanced that although energy efficiency measures could be capital intensive, but it is a life cycle cost savings project, saying: “Energy efficiency measures are a great opportunity for investment. I would advice banks and other financial institutions, to invest in it because it’s a cost savings project for a company. It is a productive use, and its long run interest would spore up their gains.”
Owoeye, who was part of the ISO certification process of both companies, observed that each of the companies in a year had saved about N20million each owing to the energy efficiency measures.

Meanwhile, the two companies, Grand Cereals Ltd., and Aarti Steel Nigeria Ltd., were awarded with the ISO 50001:2011 certification based on the international standard for energy management, indicative of their huge improvement in energy performance and compliance in the country.

As the first two companies to set the pace in that regards, General Works Manager, Grand Cereal, Sanjeev Jain, remarked that the company, after two years journey of rigorous documentation, investigations, internal and external audit and investment, was elated with the success, as it is a milestone for them.

Jain was however quick to outline the challenges encountered during the process, especially the unavailability of some metering equipment needed in country, and foreign exchange scarcity and many others.

While commending the NESP project for its support, he urged the government and other stakeholders to increase awareness on the potential of energy efficiency measures in Nigeria.

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