CONSULTATION WORKSHOP ON DRAFT ESIA (environmental social impact assessment) ON SOLAR MINI GRIDS IN NIGERIA

The objective of the ESIA is to ensure that the minigrid power project is environmentally and socially sound and sustainable, and that any potential negative environmental impacts are recognized

CONSULTATION  WORKSHOP ON DRAFT ESIA  (environmental social impact assessment) ON SOLAR MINI GRIDS IN NIGERIA
Engr. Olumide Fatoki

From Chioma (Abuja)

The objective of the ESIA is to ensure that the minigrid power project is environmentally and socially sound and sustainable, and that any potential negative environmental impacts are recognized early in the minigrid power project cycle and taken into account before minigrid power project implementation. Furthermore, it is also intended to satisfy the environmental legal requirement of the Nigerian environment. This consultation became necessary because The Nigeria government has in mind to upscale electricity use in rural areas While renewable-powered mini-grids are essential both to meet rural electrification needs and emission reduction targets in Africa, they remain under-financed and lack the backing needed to achieve SDG 7.

For mini-grids to be economically viable, governments shouldn't integrate them into national electrification plans, they should set up a coherent enabling environment and learn from other countries to see what works. Initiatives like the Africa Mini-Grids Community of Practice will provide vital spaces to share experiences. During a draft consultation workshop in Sheraton hotel Abuja recently with Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Energy Support Programme, Consultants and various stakeholders, Engineer Olumide Fatoki, asenior advisor, in charge of minigrid project  development with specialty in monitoring and Evaluation and promotions, in an interview , said  Nigeria energy support programme has been able to work with  the Federal Ministry of Environment to develope ESIA guidelines where approvals and permits can be gotten for solar minigrids that need to be developed putting the needed framework in place in an environmental friendly manner. He went on to say that with the 26 million rural dwellers who have no electricity, the consultation takes into cognisance the need for them to use electricity that would meet personal and commercial needs. while asked the environmental impact of the  the radiation from the batteries, he said it's minimal compared to the advantages and said plans are in place to recycle the batteries.