Nigeria to get help from Europe for renewable energyStaff writer ▼ | July 5, 2013
Currently, a large part of the Nigerian population lacks access to energy or relies on polluting fuels such as fuel wood and charcoal with severe consequences for health and the environment.
The newly launched Energising Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) programme aims to improve the enabling framework conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria and, in particular, with a focus on the use of renewable energies by Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and households.
"At the moment, 80 per cent of the population in rural Nigeria have no access to electricity at all. Our overall objective is to help decrease this number significantly, but it is also important to improve the wellbeing of those who do have access, since they often suffer from inadequate lightning to carry out their housework and from inhaling toxic smokes due to unmaintained cooking stoves", said European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs.
The EASE programme will also address the massive deforestation and cutting of trees for fuel wood, which is the main energy source for the majority of the population, by planting more trees. Furthermore, Nigeria is the second largest gas flaring country, emitting some 40 million tons of CO2 each day. Through the promotion of reduced gas flaring, the EASE programme will contribute to resource conservation and help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Some other activities to be carried out through the programme will include: design of energy assessment and strategies to increase access to energy, providing essential training on aspects such as norms, standards, and tariffs, or the development of business plans to demonstrate commercial viability of small-scale gas resources.
The new programme will be run in partnership with the World Bank which will contribute with over €4,6 million and the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) with a contribution of €9 million.
The EU has allocated €697 million to cooperation with Nigeria through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) which runs from 2007-2013. The key areas of our development work in the country are governance and human rights - €146 million, peace and security – €402 million, trade, regional integration and energy security - €47 million, and health – €88 million. ■