The launch of the capacity building partnership in Nigeria kicked off with its inaugural session. It provided a comprehensive overview of the evolution, trends, opportunities, and challenges within the country's decentralized renewable energy sector.
Did you know that Nigeria is the country with the largest number of people without access to electricity in the world? The latest SDG7 Tracking report (1) estimates that 86 million Nigerians lack access, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (76 million), and Ethiopia (55 million). The lack of reliable and affordable electricity affects society as a whole and limits opportunities for education, healthcare, and economic growth.
The recent Off Grid Conference held in Munich from June 13 to 14 within the framework of Intersolar Europe provided a platform to exchange on developments, opportunities and challenges in the Nigerian off grid energy space.
Within the session Innovative Tools for Accelerating Off-Grid Project Development (Case Study Nigeria)(2), the WISIONS’ team member María Yetano Roche presented a few research insights on how knowledge sharing can help to accelerate the energy transition, based on WISIONS’ experiences in facilitating bottom-up knowledge exchanges among global South energy practitioners.
María shared the podium with key changemakers in the Nigerian off-grid solar space such as Ify Malo from the Clean Technology Hub, Ruth Atsegbua-Mohammed from CREEDS and Dr. Philipp Blechinger from Reiner Lemoine Institut.
The Nigerian off-grid solar sector is highly dynamic, having grown considerably in the last decade and technical assistance and capacity building programmes are currently emerging to train a new generation of energy entrepreneurs and practitioners. However, there is still a significant skills gap, and the development of knowledge-sharing platforms has a key role to play in bridging it.
The PeopleSuN project, in collaboration with Nigerian stakeholders, aims to contribute to bridging the skills gap in the Nigerian off-grid solar sector by designing an open access hub that facilitates knowledge exchange and collaboration. The hub will serve as an online resource providing guidance, tools, and case studies. Because of its wiki format, users will be able to actively contribute to it, by creating new inputs and sharing their own experiences.
Ultimately, the hub seeks to support the design and implementation of financially viable and inclusive off-grid power interventions in underserved areas across Nigeria. The hub will be integrated in Energypedia, a wiki platform that enables collaborative knowledge sharing, and will be made publicly available at the end of 2023.
We look forward to sharing more updates on the next steps about the hub in the future, and on how it plays a part in driving the Nigerian off-grid solar sector forward!
(1) IRENA (June, 2023) Tracking SDG7: The energy progress report 2023
(2) Intersolar Europe: Innovative Tools for Accelerating Off-Grid Project Development (Case Study Nigeria)