Nigeria and Egypt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of electricity and renewable energy.

Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker and his Nigerian counterpart Abubakar D.Aliyu signed the document, according to a January 24 statement from the Egyptian ministry.

Through the MoU, the two countries will provide technical support for the electricity generation sector and the development of electricity transmission and distribution networks, and the transition to smart grid systems.

This is in addition to promoting new and renewable energy systems in the electricity sector.

Nigeria is the most populous country and the largest economy on the African continent and home to one of the fastest growing populations globally, which has led to a rapid increase in energy demand that will be key to unlocking greater economic development.

This presents a substantial opportunity to develop the country’s rich natural renewable energy resources and unlock low-carbon growth.

LEADERSHIP reports that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently developed a Renewable Energy Roadmap for Nigeria in collaboration with the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and discusses the additional potential for renewable energy deployment up to the year 2050, with an additional 2030 focus to aid shorter-term policy development.

The study covers all key sectors of the Nigerian energy system to provide additional context for energy policy discussions on how greater ambition in terms of renewable energy can be achieved, beyond current government policy and targets.

Renewable energy can help Nigeria not only meet its energy needs, but also drive sustainable economic growth and create jobs while achieving global climate and sustainable development goals.

“By using its abundant untapped renewable energy, Nigeria can provide sustainable energy for all of its citizens in a cost-effective manner. Nigeria has a unique opportunity to develop a sustainable energy system based on renewable energy that supports socio-economic recovery and development, while addressing climate challenges and achieving energy security,” said IRENA Director General Francesco La Camera.

Nigerian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora, added: “The highly distributed institutional structure of the energy sector in Nigeria means that policy coordination will be essential to unlock integrated energy transition planning and ensure your success.

“A cross-cutting agency or body tasked with doing this would be helpful in building consensus and developing a coherent plan that would in turn enable scaling up of renewables to meet needs across the Nigerian energy sector.”

According to the IRENA report, the proportion of primary energy requirements satisfied by renewable energy can reach 47 percent by 2030 and 57 percent by 2050.

Electrification will play an important role in achieving higher shares of renewable energy with electricity in final energy use nearly doubling by 2050, even as investment in renewable energy will be more profitable than the conventional route, according to the report.

The IRENA Energy Transition Scenario has lower investment costs than planned policies, $1.22 trillion compared to $1.24 trillion respectively. This corresponds to $35 billion versus $36 billion per year respectively.