The Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), University of Colorado, Boulder (CU) United States has encouraged Nigeria to adopt techniques like auction and Performance-based Regulations (PBR) to cut-down the cost of renewables and enhance patronage.
Associate director of energy, policy and analysis at RASEI, Mr Jeffrey Logan hinted this while briefing newsmen in Colorado yesterday at the ongoing Virtual Reporting Tour (VRT) on “Combatting the Climate Crisis Through US Innovation”, organised by Washington Foreign Press Centre (FPC), an arm of the US Department of State in collaboration with Meridian International Center.
RASEI is a joint institute between the University of Colorado, Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), aimed at expediting solutions on renewable energy science, engineering, and analysis through research, education, and industry partnerships.
Logan said that exploring the use of auctions would lead to the production of cheaper products as private companies would compete to build a plant at the lowest cost.
Speaking on “Challenges and Solutions of Renewable Energy in the 21st Century”, he said that NREL is unique among the 17 national laboratories in the United States that focuses on the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, as well as advanced clean and sustainable technologies.
Logan confirmed that RASEI is collaborating with foreign countries on exchange of technical expertise, adding that some of the researchers have partnered with Brazil to exchange technical information and provide educational opportunities at CU.
He added, “We don’t really have an established program for technology transfer, but if you find a researcher at RASEI who is working on something of interest, you can always reach out to them to discuss options”.
The director listed six trends on the energy sector as solar, wind and storage costs; electrification, distributed energy resources, hydraulic fracturing, financing and regulatory options, and energy access.
He stated that the growth of biomass and other forms of renewables, such as hydro and geothermal cannot be compared with wind and solar that would likely become the largest source of generation globally by 2024.
On grants by the US government to support smaller industries manufacturing renewable energy, he said, “There are a number of development banks in the US that typically provide this kind of assistance, but it is often predicated on purchasing US-manufactured equipment as part of the deal”.
He disclosed that NREL recently incorporated a new strategic plan on its activities like creating a circular economy for energy materials aside its expertise on renewable energy.
Logan maintained that hydraulic fracturing for both oil and gas has been largely confined to North America though Argentina has ambitious plans to use hydraulic fracturing to develop their domestic resources.