As the conversation around clean and affordable energy gathers more interest, access to finance is one of the major limitations to the rapid development of solar energy in Africa.
Many technology providers and companies acknowledge challenges in raising capital from local finance organisations and remain increasingly dependent on donor funds.
However, Lande Abudu, Executive secretary, Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) has said innovative thinking could help operators access finance needed for their business.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with PETROLGAS REPORT, she noted that awareness is important to making banks understand the sector.
In her words, “I do think there is a certain lack of understanding. Financing the renewable energy sector needs innovative thinking.
“For banks, we must understand that they are a business and if you are in business, you seek profitable returns. If you invest into the renewable energy industry, it does not fit the model that you would ordinarily expect in commercial banking i.e. short term funds for a long term project.
“So, in that sense they understand a bit but it is not a sector they will readily go into. The conversation has been on how to get Green Financing which is sustainable for the Green Revolution.
“We also need to do our work and educate them more to increase their awareness about financing the renewable energy sector,” she said.
Speaking further, she noted that although the government has put in place policies, implementation still remains a key issue.
“From the office of the Vice President (VP), I know that they are very passionate. The VP himself is passionate about the sector.
“Government has put in place different policies such as the Renewable Energy Policy, the Mini Grid Policy among others.
“But policy is nothing without enforcement. Enforcement is imperative.
“We will continue to work with both the Private sector and government to ensure regulation fully supports the renewable energy space”, she added.