Wednesday 5 April 2017

Renewable energy: YouLead builds SMEs’ capacity

Small businesses rely heavily on generators to run their ventures as a result of irregular power supply in the country. This makes energy one of their highest cost heads, which invariably reduces their profit.
However,  a three-day renewable energy financing training  organised for micro finance institutions, commercial banks and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Calabar may have set the stage for a reversal of this trend.
Essentially, the training was aimed at increasing access to energy services and promote the use of other cost-effective sources of clean energy such as solar, wind, hydro, biofuels etc.
The workshop, themed: “Assessing Credit Risk of Renewable Energy Sector”, was organised by Cuso International, Nigeria, in collaboration with USAID Nigeria Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (REEEP). Cuso International also implements YouLead project, while REEEP was being implemented by Winrock International.
Delivering his keynote address, Programme Manager, Financial Inclusion, YouLead project, Mr Mark Akpan, said the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of SMEs and  financial institutions on renewable energy financing.
He said this will enable them develop green financial products and services. He noted that green financing avoids the promotion of any business or activity that could be damaging to the environment.
Akpan said: “Green financing allows banks to contribute to green growth. While green growth fosters economic development, ensuring that natural assets are used sustainably, green finance supports green growth.
“While some of these green financial products are supported by government programs, many are led by private banks to attract customers looking to finance green initiatives.”
A Consultant with Winrock International, Mr. IlanWolkov, explained that solar energy is a cleaner and very efficient way of powering home appliances,noting that the uptake of solar systems was very fast in Bangladesh through micro–financing.
The Consultant added that micro finance banks in Nigeria can spur the growth of renewable energy sector by creating credit facilities for youths.

Source: Nation Online
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