The Nigerian government has called upon investors to allocate more resources towards small hydropower projects, similar to those invested in solar power technology, in a bid to achieve stable power supply in Nigeria and other African countries.

The appeal was made yesterday in Abuja by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, during a capacity building training focused on small hydropower development standards. The training targeted policymakers, standardization bureau representatives, and renewable energy project developers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and East African Commission (EAC).

Attended by participants from various African regions, the workshop aimed to promote small hydropower development standards in West and East Africa. This initiative operates within the framework of the “Technical Guidelines for the Development of International Standards for Small Hydropower Plants” and the GEF-funded project, “Scaling Up Small Hydropower in Nigeria.”

Represented by Engr. Bem Anyangeaor, Assistant Director of Renewable Energy and Rural Power, Minister Adelabu stressed the critical role of small hydropower in addressing the electricity demand-supply gap, particularly in Nigeria. He highlighted the Federal Ministry of Power’s initiative to decentralize electricity generation, inspired by the example set by the Abia State government, aiming to establish several small megawatts.

Adelabu emphasized that small hydropower plays a crucial role in achieving the country’s climate change objectives, energy transition plans, energy security, and providing energy access to the population. He underscored the need for investments in small hydropower projects and acknowledged the historical lack of such investments compared to solar power technology.

Dr. Osu Otu, representing UNIDO, expressed concerns about poor electricity access and the demand-supply gap in the region, despite abundant renewable energy sources. He highlighted hydropower’s potential to enhance electricity access in the region.

Fulbert Koujit, representing ECREEE ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, warned of the challenges facing Africa’s energy system and emphasized the need to address low electricity access to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Jidere Bala, former Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, commended UNIDO for convening experts to seek sustainable solutions to energy challenges, asserting the significant potential of small hydropower in supporting Africa’s energy mix.

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