By Abiola Olawale
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy President of the Senate (DSP), has said there is a need to scale up solar energy development in the country to address the challenge of mono-power generation, leading to energy shortfall nationwide.
Nigeria is currently generating most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants and hydro-sources. However, Senator Omo-Agege, who represents Delta Central Senatorial District at the Upper Legislative Chamber called on Nigeria to join countries that have moved away from conventional energy sources to renewable energy, derived from Solar energy.
Senator Omo-Agege made this known during the commissioning of the 1.35 megawatts solar hybrid power plant at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State.
The DSP also stated that the invention of solar energy will boost the country’s economy and also provide a sustainable source of energy.
Omo-Agege, who sponsored the bill establishing the FUPRE, in Delta State, commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the bill into law and subsequently actualising the bill.
He appreciated the President for assenting to the programme under the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), designed to provide clean energy to 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals, nationwide.
The DSP also assured that the newly commissioned project, under the Federal Government’s Energising Education Programme (EEP), will generate enough electricity to power the entire FUPRE community, adding that it will cater for the energy needs of its over 6,000 population.
In his words, “Today’s event is a significant opportunity because of what solar energy solution represents. Firstly, it is part of the present global energy paradigm shift and we cannot afford to be left behind. Secondly, it is a veritable solution to our endemic power problem. Thirdly, it provides hope for creating a cleaner, pollution-free environment. Finally, it is happening in FUPRE – an institution with a mandate that includes the development of clean energies. This itself represents a positive challenge for members of this institution to be leaders in clean energy research and development. Another dimension of solar energy solution that provides a good challenge to the FUPRE academic community is its environmental friendliness. FUPRE is situated in an environment where pollution, resulting from the exploitation of fossil energy is endemic. To this extent, it is smart to creatively take on this challenge because, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
“Solar energy technologies are relatively young and fast evolving. There is room for new strides. This is your time to make real impact. Let the world hear about your exploits in this regard. It is equally important to emphasize that globally, nations are moving away from conventional energy sources to renewable ones because of the limitless opportunities. We can be part of this innovation. Let us take a cue from similar initiatives in even some Third World countries that are making significant strides in the field of renewable energy. India pioneered biogas technology by way of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants.
“Today, Kenya is reportedly close to attaining a 100 percent mark for renewable energy for all its electricity needs. Nigeria can also make giant strides in innovative solar energy solutions. We have abundant sunshine. We have solar scientists and researchers in great number. Some are here in FUPRE. Also, the Federal Government has several incentives, including tariff waivers, tax reliefs, specialized loans, and intervention funds, for solar energy development. Our nation’s Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP) encourages profitable participation in solar energy research and development.” Senator Omo-Agege said.