THE Ministry of Science and Technology says it has perfected plans to generate at least 2000 mega watts of electricity via solar energy.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this on Monday at a world press conference to brief the media on the outcome of his tour to the seventh general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA in Ethiopia last week.

Dr. Onu said out of the 2000 mega watts of electricity to be generated this year, 1000 will be off grid while the other 1000mw will be on grid. To underscore the need for renewable energy, he said the world for the first time spent about $300 billion in 2016 to promote renewable energy, just as countries were also increasing percentage of contributions to their energy mix.

IRENA is an inter-governmental organization involving many countries from all the continents that emphasis the importance of renewable energy.

Its major thrust is to ensure that we move away from Focil fuels to renewable energy. IRENA is also promoting the use of bio-energy, ocean, solar, geo-thermal, hydro power energy. At the United Arab Emirate, the minister led the Nigerian team to the seventh general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

Onu who emphasized the importance of renewable energy to Nigeria’s quest for sustainable energy said it had become necessary that the world is moving towards renewable energy as the only sustainable way to make sure that energy is accessed and energy security is achieved globally.

“We are planning to generate 2000 mega watts of electricity from solar. 1000 will go to off grid and the remaining 1000 will go to on grid. “Basically, what is happening now is that the world wants to reserve our environment and hand over our planet to our children and future generations in a manner that they would find this planet habitable. It is very important that energy is produced and utilized in a manner that is sustainable. Both energy access and energy security must be sustainable. The way this can be active is through the use of renewable energy,” he added.

Electricity from solar

According to the minister, 120 countries were accredited during the seventh general assembly and over 150 organizations including the United Nations participated. Meanwhile, Onu said Nigeria was elected as one of the four vice presidents of IRENA during the seventh general assembly.

Its role will be to ensure that the eighth general assembly which will take place early next year, January 13-14 in Abu Dhabi is successful. With the election, Nigeria will be one of the vice presidents in addition to the president that will chair deliberations and also to prepare for a successful general assembly.

As a result of discussions that took place in the assembly, including ministerial round tables, in attendance were three prime ministers, 75 ministers that represented their various countries. “From the IRENA Assembly, it became very clear that the world is moving towards renewable energy as the only sustainable way to make sure that energy is accessed and energy security is achieved globally.

“What is very interesting is that this platform being provided by IRENA is fully supported and also being encouraged by countries that are rich in crude oil. And they are doing this for economic reasons, acknowledging the fact that it is very important that we diversify our energy. If in the future solar energy is competitive, it means that if we do not play a role at this level, then we will be regretting. We are happy Nigeria is playing an important role at this beginning,” said the minister.

Similarly, the minister said major discussions in Ethiopia meeting was how Africa can eradicate tsetse fly from the continent to boost agriculture and safe guide human lives. With this meeting, he said that plans were under way to ensure total eradication of the disease in Nigeria

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