With fewer professionals in the alternative energy space, stakeholders in the renewable energy sub-sector have decried the effects of poor standard of operations.
According to them, in spite of the increasing investment and growth in the renewable energy space, lack of technical expertise and standards have continued to cause trust issues, which have been discouraging commercial viability of the sector.
They expressed specific concerns about standard of solar PV installers, adding that the industry needs standard instrumentation practices.
At the signing of an agreement between the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and ASteven Renewable Energy Center (ASREA) in Lagos, a member of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi noted that the lack of certified professionals and equipment in the industry has given a bad name to solar in Nigeria, as many people don’t believe in its efficiency.
“This has created several non-harmonised training programmes, where people are doing different things, with no central body for certification”, he added.
The Coordinator of ECREEE, Ibrahim Sumaila told the gathering that it was as a result of the trust gap the centre felt a need to harmonise practices in the area across ECOWAS member states, of which Nigeria is the third after Ghana, and Sierra Leone.
He explained that the lack of standardisation of efficient equipment and processes is the reason for the ECOWAS Certification for Sustainable Energy Skills (ECSES) Scheme to facilitate professional examinations in renewable energy, as well as create a regional certification of international standard for solar PV training and expertise.
While commending ASteven for the provisions at their academy, the IT and Observatory Officer, ECREEE, Jafaru Abdulrahman remarked that the effort is geared by the mandate by the Council of ECOWAS to support and upscale renewable energy and energy efficiency adding that there are financial commitments to implement such projects.
He advanced that the project is a plan, which would gradually cover all member states, and that the first phase with ASREA and the other countries is a pilot to ascertain how it works out, but the ultimate is to get more certified professionals in the arena to compete with international standards.