The European Commission announced $34.7 million of financial support to help improve the renewable energy policy in Nigeria. Currently, a large part of the Nigerian population lacks access to energy or relies on polluting fuels such as fuel wood and charcoal with severe consequences for health and the environment.
The newly launched Energizing Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) program aims to improve the enabling framework conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria and, in particular, with a focus on the use of renewable energies by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and households.
At the moment, 80 percent of the population in rural Nigeria have no access to electricity at all.
The EASE program will also address the massive deforestation and cutting of trees for fuel wood, which is the main energy source for the majority of the population, by planting more trees. Furthermore, Nigeria is the second largest gas flaring country, emitting some 40 million tons of carbon dioxide each day.
Through the promotion of reduced gas flaring, the EASE program will contribute to resource conservation and help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Some other activities to be carried out through the program will include: design of energy assessment and strategies to increase access to energy, providing essential training on aspects such as norms, standards, and tariffs, or the development of business plans to demonstrate commercial viability of small-scale gas resources.
The new program will be run in partnership with the World Bank (which will contribute with about $6 million) and the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fàƒ¼r Internationale Zusammenarbeit) (with a contribution of $11.6 million).