Mini-grids can significantly boost Nigeria’s energy profile. But so far, the regulatory landscape has not been clear enough to attract the needed investments to develop mini-grid projects. The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has drafted the 2016 Mini Grid Regulation with the intention to attract investments into mini-grids without hampering the operational successes of the Distribution Companies. Does the proposed regulation work for investors? This article highlights the feedback from industry stakeholders until mid November 2016.
In mid 2016, the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) came up with a draft Mini-Grid regulation. The regulation was specifically designed to accelerate electrification in areas of the country without any existing distribution grid (i.e. “unserved areas”) and areas with an existing but poorly electrified or non-functional distribution grid (i.e. “underserved areas”), especially but not limited to rural areas. Typically, mini-grids run independent of the national or the main electricity grid and may be powered either by fossil fuels or renewable energy sources such as solar and small scale hydro
Owing to its potential to boost Nigeria’s access-to-energy profile, the significance of a robust mini-grid regulatory document cannot be over-emphasised. As such, NERC has called on all interested and concerned stakeholders in the Nigerian power and electricity sector to make inputs to this draft regulation before it is finalised. A series of stakeholder engagements, facilitated by Heinrich Boell Foundation and Nextier Power, revealed salient stakeholder comments, feedback and recommendations on the Mini-Grid Regulation.