The Director General Energy Commissions of Nigeria (ECN), Prof. Abubakar Sambo, Monday inaugurated the first Renewable Energy Model Village in Sokoto, stressing that the provision of energy in rural areas was key to tackling security challenges in the country.
He also said lack of access to sufficient supply of energy in rural areas was responsible for increased poverty and violence in the North.
Sambo made the remark at an international workshop and inauguration of the Integrated Renewable Energy Powered Model Village in Danjawa, Wamakko Local Government Area of the state.
The Director General, who was represented by Prof. Idris Bugaje, maintained that the absence of sustainable supplies of energy in rural communities was responsible for the marginalisation of rural dwellers, leading to terror and violence in the North.
According to him, 80 per cent of rural dwellers lack access to sufficient energy, which made their lives miserable.
He said most people in rural areas depend on wood for energy which is not environmentally friendly and causes global warming.
The ECN boss emphasised that addressing the energy challenges, particularly the energy gaps in rural communities was critical to securing Nigeria in both social and economic fronts.
He stressed the need for the development of bio-fuel industry in rural areas, saying it would boost their economies.
In his remarks, Director of Sokoto State Energy Research Centre, Prof. Bashir Danshehu, had said access to energy critical to poverty alleviation, hence the need for the development of renewable energy sources.
Danshehu stated that the Sokoto Energy Research Centre designed and implemented an integrated renewable energy system to provide the energy needs of Danjawa village with 1000 inhabitants.
He explained that the village has appropriate geographic resources that allow the deployment of renewable energy system combining the use of photovoltaic, wind turbines, solar thermal and biogas technologies.
Danshehu averred that the idea was meant to leave out fossil fuels that pollute the environment, by deploying solar thermal, wind and biogas technologies to provide the basic energy requirement of the village.
He said the system has a 10 KW PV plant with necessary battery storage system, a 500-litre header riser type solar water, 3KW wind turbine, 100 kilogramme solar dryers among others.
He added that the 15 KW integrated system was implemented for scientific applications such as water heating, solar water pumping and cooking purposes.
"Of course there is a provision for the households in the village to power their basic appliances such as fans, television sets among others with the electricity generated," he stressed.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Prof Riskuwa Shehu, described the establishment of a model village power through renewable energy as a welcome development.
He said the essence was to make it easier for rural dwellers to be exposed to other sources of energy which are available but unexploited.
Shehu stressed the need for government to pay serious attention to the development of energy resources to secure the energy need of the country.