Energy supply in Nigeria has dwindled in the last couple of years. Whereas, the energy needs in Nigeria is projected at about 40,000KW; energy generation at its peak in Nigeria today is less than 7,000KW with nearly 40 per cent of that lost due to ineffective transmission and distribution network. Furthermore, the idea of energy efficiency and economy has not resonated with our people. The economy of on-grid electrification does not favour most of the rural communities in Nigeria who have no access to the national-grid.
Due to obsolete infrastructure, sabotage and lack of finance, the prospect of getting most of these communities connected is very bleak. Hence, latching to the potential that we have left untapped from renewable sources has become not only commonsensical; but also imperative. These resources are located mostly in the rural communities where the potential for community energy projects is most appealing.
Community energy covers aspects of collective action to reduce, purchase, manage and generate energy. Community energy projects have an emphasis on local engagement, local leadership and control and the local community benefiting collectively from the outcomes. Community-led action can often tackle challenging issues around energy, with community groups well placed to understand their local areas and to bring people together with common purpose.
Vision: Sustainable energy for all.
Mission: To offer every local community and community groups access to our expertise, infrastructure, efficient systems and on-going support across the country so that communities can reap the benefits of access to energy at cheap prices, local generation (leading to employment generation and shared prosperity), direct ownership of natural resources in their locality, efficient energy usage and conservation thereby reducing carbon footprint.
Our aims are to:
Speed up the development of renewable projects by supporting a favourable policy and legislative environment
Inform and educate policymakers, empowering them to put forward enabling frameworks
Build a broad, public coalition in support of community renewable energy projects
Inform and engage the public through workshops, conferences and action-oriented projects.
The Common Characteristics of our Community Energy initiative are, but not limited to the following:
Ordinary people or citizens are involved in running the projects through community groups such as cooperatives or social enterprises.
There is a co-operative, democratic or specifically non-corporate structure.
There are tangible local benefits to people living or working close to projects.
The profits go back to the community or are re-invested in other community energy schemes.
Rejection of non-renewable energy sources to meet demand, through either investment in renewable energy generation or efficiency measures.
Sources of Community Energy:
Primarily, these are resources that are available in our rural communities and do not contribute to our carbon footprint. A right mix of energy sources would be the best case scenario for any community. Incidentally, because of the geographical location of our country, we have these resources available in the country:
The amazing thing is that the installation cost for each of these initiatives are becoming less expenses and more efficient facilities are not in place and can be sourced from producers across the word. Furthermore, experience is also teaching that more efficient energy saving devices could be deployed easily by learning from other developed countries who have been able to advance the frontiers of knowledge in this respect.
We believe that through an inclusive process, community energy initiatives should provide the opportunity to:
Enable willing communities in Nigeria to collectively play a substantial role in meeting our carbon emission targets and use renewables by saving energy and creating a secure, clean and affordable electricity supply.
Increase the scale of investment in renewable energy and energy saving and attract new individuals, communities and institutions to invest.
Encourage people to act cooperatively to create sustainable communities and give everyone an equal opportunity to own and control shared assets democratically.
Respect communities, the landscape and rural life through genuine stakeholder involvement and management of natural assets for the benefit of current and future generations.
Increase people's awareness and support for renewable energy projects and encourage energy saving.
Include frameworks that enable communities that generate electricity to sell directly to themselves first thereby reducing energy poverty in our rural communities.
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