Nigeria a country as close to the population of the United States is lacking energy generation, transition and distribution. Nigeria belongs to the top ten countries most exposed to effects of climate change with impacts ranging from sea level rise and floodings to irregular rainfalls and droughts. As 6 % of its land is exposed to extreme weather events food production is hampered and poverty increases amongst rural communities and in turn insecurities and economic instability increase in the region.
The tripling renewable target
“[…] will be one of the best things that will contribute immensely to green house gas emissions reduction and discourages people from engaging in activities that are endemical to the survival of environmental and humanity”
In relation to the tripling renewable target Hon. Maren is emphasizing that subsidies are necessary in order to reduce the high initial costs associated with renewables to ensure that many people can have access. Renewable energy is currently only affordable to the rich even though people with lower income would need it the most. Low-income households often use firewood for cooking to save costs. The widespread use of firewood is reinforcing deforestation which in turn is a major driver of the depletion of Nigerian forests and the disappearance of different animals’ species. To tackle that issue Hon. Maren is currently engaged in campaigning for clean cooking supply as well as for clean energy.
Hon. Maren perceives renewable energy as a pathway towards increased economic stability within Nigeria. He highlights that
“the tripling renewable target must be inclusive of women, children, people living with disabilities and other marginalized groups”
One of the biggest challenges are the high cost associated with renewable energy and the current durability of the systems after installation. He suggests strengthening the quality controls organs of Government to checkmate low quality materials in use. Hon. Maren furthermore proposes to engage Standards Organization of Nigeria like Nigeria Customs Service and the Energy Commission of Nigeria to build synergy in fighting fake and substandard Renewable energy equipment into the Country.
The Nigerian Parliament is pursuing the Renewable Energy Agenda already. However, Hon. Solomon Maren recognizes that much more can be done to fast track their efforts such as:
1. Deliberate engagements and reorientation on emerging technologies and accessibility
2. Bringing Parliamentarians from different countries together to share experiences and ways forward.
3. Encouraging and supporting constituency engagements of parliamentarians with constituents on dangers and gains.