By the year 2022 about two million unemployed Nigerians would be gainfully employed through the introduction of renewable energy, which is to complement regular electricity supply.
Also, the country will require about $16 billion to fix the energy problem yearly, for its proper generation.
Speaking during the 2nd Renewable Energy Investment Forum organised by the Bank of Industry and United Nations Development Programme (BoI/UNDP) in Abuja, the project Manager of the joint forum, Mr. Segun Adaju, said the project would involve a business chain where many people would be fully involved for gainful employment.
Adaju, who said the project was in furtherance of UNDP's support to private sector development for micro, small and medium scale enterprises, explained that the renewable energy will provide power through the solar, water, and biomass.
In his words: "Nigerians spend about $11 billion annually on energy generation through the usage of generators, which involved the usage of fuel. And all what we need for the sustainable energy in the country is $16 billion. That is why we are calling on Nigerians to harness these resources for the full operation of renewable energy.
"Renewable energy industry is rapidly growing beyond all projections by the industry experts. For instance, according to Renewable Energy Global Status report, 2012, by the end of 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1,360 Giga Watt (GW), up to by 8 per cent over what it was in 2010."
He noted that the report added that renewable energy supply constituted more than 25 per cent of total global power-generating capacity, which is estimated at 5,360 GW in 2011, as he said it also supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity.
Earlier in her presentation, Managing Director, BoI, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, said the renewable energy market has grown rapidly in the recent years globally, thereby calling on Nigerians to join the wagon to the new development initiative in the energy sector.
"Renewable energy markets and policy frameworks have also evolved rapidly in recent years across the globe. It development has grown to make an estimated 16.7 per cent of global final energy consumption. In the power sector, renewable accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaic accounted for almost 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively of the new renewable energy capacity, followed by hydropower nearly 25 per cent.
"Investment in renewable energy across the globe continues to increase significantly from a mere $33 billion in 2004 to $257 billion by the end of year 2011. As at today, it is approaching $300 billion mark. The irony and challenge here is Nigeria's investments in renewable energy systems is not well captured into the global reports due to the piecemeal and un-coordinated manner in which renewable energy projects are embarked upon in the country.
"Most of renewable energy projects in Nigeria in the past are mainly pilots or for political and social reasons by government agencies at Federal, States or Local Government levels. This is why BoI in conjunction with the UNDP, and other relevant stakeholders are making efforts to feature Nigeria in global renewable energy investment portfolio. Part of the objectives of today's event, therefore is aimed at outlining a comprehensive strategy of promoting formal investment into renewable energy development in Nigeria," she said.
The BoI boss, who was represented by the General Manager, Operations, Mr. Joseph Babatunde, promised that the bank would do all it can to see that renewable energy provides a reliable alternative to the energy challenge in Nigeria, promoting MSME, as well as surmounting energy problem as the major challenge facing small business.
She therefore called on financial institutions, renewable energy entrepreneurs, and policy makers to avail themselves of the opportunity afforded by the network for the development of renewable energy industry in Nigeria. "We are confident that this forum will initiate a movement that will put Nigeria in global reckoning in the funding of renewable energy projects", she said.