Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the much-anticipated electricity tariff increase effective from September 1st, 2020. This is according to a report in Thisday Newspaper.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had approved service reflected tariffs for the electricity sector and was due to commence July 1, 2020 after it was initially postponed from April 1, 2020. However, this was suspended after reports indicated Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, had pushed for a postponement until key areas of disagreement are sorted.
According to Thisday, the president ” may have finally approved the official implementation of cost-reflective tariffs for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” with the tariff now set to go live on September 1, 2020. The report also indicates the president signed off the tariff increase on Tuesday following pressures by the World Bank.
Just a few months ago, the National Assembly promised tariffs will not increase until the first quarter of 2021 following several deliberations it held with stakeholders.
In the course of the meeting, the DISCOs too admitted that they were not well prepared for the planned hike in tariffs even though they so much desired the increase. The meeting agreed to defer the planned hike till first quarter of next year while the leadership of the National Assembly promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.
“The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st,” Lawan said at the end of the meeting.
“The Speaker and I, we are going to take appropriate action and meet with the President. We are in agreement here that there is no question on the justification of the increase but the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place. So between now and the first quarter of next year, our task will be to work together with you to ensure that we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs,” the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan
It is unclear whether the National Assembly will once again wade into this matter.
World Bank Pressure
Nigeria applied for a $3 billion world bank loan from which $1.5 billion and another $1-$1.5 billion loan is for State Governments. However, as reported earlier, the world bank expects Nigeria to meet certain preconditions before the loan is disbursed. Some of the conditions we gather include;
- Unification of the exchange rate
- Introduction of new electricity tariffs
- Removal of fuel subsidy.
The World Bank is also reported to have earmarked $750 million for the Power Sector and reportedly will not disburse the loans if the power sector is not operating a cost-reflective tariff regime. However, it appears DisCos had some issues to clarify with stakeholders such as the Regulators before a new tariff can be approved.
What this means: By giving presidential approval it seems inevitable that new electricity tariffs could kick in starting September 1st, 2020.
- This means most Nigerians will now have to pay more for electricity.
- Electricity is a major component of Nigeria’s inflation rate which has galloped to 12.82% as of July 2020.
- It is thus, inevitable that Nigeria’s inflation rate will remain high in the months to come.
- It is also expected that the tariff increase should be commensurate with an increase in power supply.
Africa’s electricity generation will double by 2030, fossil fuel to be dominant – Research
Fossil fuel is expected to dominate Africa’s energy mix by the end of the decade.
A new research from the University of Oxford has predicted that the total electricity generation across the African Continent will double by 2030.
The study also expects that fossil fuel will still be dominant in Africa’s energy mix by the end of the decade, accounting for two-thirds of all generated electricity across Africa, posing a potential risk to global climate change commitments.
An estimated 18% of the generation is set to come from hydro-energy projects, which have their own challenges, such as being vulnerable to an increasing number of droughts caused by climate change.
The study, which looked into Africa’s energy generation landscape, uses a state-of-the-art machine-learning technique to analyse the pipeline of more than 2,500 planned power plants and their chances of successful commission.
The study shows the share of non-hydro renewables in African electricity generation is likely to remain below 10% in 2030, although it varies by region.
What there are saying
Galina Alova, Study Lead Author and Researcher at the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment said that:
- “Africa’s electricity demand is set to increase significantly as the continent strives to industrialise and improve the wellbeing of its people, which offers an opportunity to power this economic development through renewables.”
- “There is a prominent narrative in the energy planning community that the continent will be able to take advantage of its vast renewable energy resources and rapidly decreasing clean technology prices to leapfrog to renewables by 2030 – but our analysis shows that overall it is not currently positioned to do so.”
Philipp Trotter, Study Author and Researcher at the Smith School said:
- “The development community and African decision-makers need to act quickly if the continent wants to avoid being locked into a carbon-intense energy future. Immediate re-directions of development finance from fossil fuels to renewables are an important lever to increase experience with solar and wind energy projects across the continent in the short term, creating critical learning curve effects.”
What you should know
- The study suggests that a decisive move towards renewable energy in Africa would require a significant shock to the current system. This includes large-scale cancellation of fossil fuel plants currently being planned.
- In addition, the study identifies ways in which planned renewable energy projects can be designed to improve their success chances – for example, smaller size, fitting ownership structure, and availability of development finance.
- Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, natural gas, oil shales, bitumen, tar sands, and heavy oils. All contain carbon and were formed as a result of geologic processes acting on the remains of organic matter produced by photosynthesis, a process that began in the Archean Eon (4.0 billion to 2.5 billion years ago).
- These non-renewable fuels supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy. They provide electricity, heat, and transportation, while also feeding the processes that make a huge range of products, from steel to plastics.
FG insists on no petrol, electricity subsidies in 2021
The FG has insisted that its policy on the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity in the 2021 budget remains.
The Federal Government has insisted that it will go ahead with its policy on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) and electricity, with no provision made in the 2021 budget for their subsidy.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a virtual public presentation of the Breakdown and Highlights of 2021 Appropriation Act on Tuesday in Abuja.
What the Minister for Finance is saying
While answering a question on whether there would be a return to petrol subsidy following the reduction in petrol price about a month ago, the Minister said the answer is a flat no.
- “We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template. And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.”
Also, while talking about the new Finance Act 2020, which took effect from 1 January 2021, Ahmed said the act adopts counter-cyclical fiscal policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing fiscal relief to taxpayers.
The Minister stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.
- “On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850bn to be realized in the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends. Government is keeping the money in trust for the beneficiaries. At any time, a registrar or a bank confirms that this is the true and bonafide beneficiary of this fund, then the government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government, in early 2020, announced the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry which culminated in the removal of petrol subsidy.
- The government said that following a sharp drop in revenue, it was becoming increasingly unsustainable for it to continue to subsidize the product with funds that can be used for the development of critical infrastructures in the country.
- Similarly, it also pointed out that the removal of subsidy on electricity tariff and ensuring the implementation of the right pricing for power will help attract the needed investment in that sector.
Daystar Power secures $38m funding to grow its West African’ operations
Daystar Power, provider of hybrid solar power solutions to businesses in West Africa, today announced a Series B investment of $38 million.
Daystar Power has announced a Series B investment of $38million.
The company expects to grow its operations in its key markets of Nigeria and Ghana, while deepening its presence in other regional countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo with the funds raised.
The company expects to expand its installed capacity to over 100 megawatts – enabling it to meet demand from its clients in the financial services, manufacturing, agricultural and natural resources sectors.
What you should know about the funding
- Taking into account the previous round by Verod Capital and Persistent Energy, Daystar Power has received equity investments totalling $48 million.
- The funding is led by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), the Danish development finance institution (DFI).
- IFU is joined by new investors STOA, a French impact infrastructure fund, Proparco, the French DFI, backed by a guarantee from the European Union under the African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility (ARE Scale-Up); and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
What they are saying
The CEO and Co-founder of Daystar Power, Jasper Graf von Hardenberg, stated that:
- “By offering our commercial and industrial clients cheaper, reliable and cleaner power, we have seen a more than 50-fold increase in power-as-a-service revenue over the last two years. African businesses are realizing that solar power stand-alone or in tandem with a second power source is a superior energy alternative to the often-unreliable grid or too expensive, polluting diesel generators.”
Thomas Hougaard, Vice President sub-Saharan Africa, IFU said:
- “We believe that Daystar Power has the right elements – the client base, technology, engineering expertise, and executive leadership to scale off-grid solar across West Africa. Not only is Daystar Power at the forefront of a growing market, it is helping to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in some of Africa’s fastest growing cities.”