A Rockefeller Foundation, Good Energies Foundation, and the European Programme GET.invest, sponsored jobs survey has revealed that increased demand for solar power in Nigeria will drive a more than two-fold jump in the number of Nigerians working in the renewable energy sector by 2023, thereby exceeding 65 000 oil and gas employees.
This was released in the Powering Jobs Census 2022, conducted by Power for All in conjunction with Clean Technology Hub Nigeria, obtained by EnergyDay on Friday.
The jobs survey was conducted on the sideline of the level of penetration of solar and other renewable energy sources in Nigeria, emerging as alternative power sources to address the persistent grid collapse perpetrated by unreliable conventional power sources in the country.
The survey which centered on employment and compensation in more than 350 companies across five countries, showed that Nigeria had the “fastest post-pandemic recovery and growth in decentralized renewable energy jobs.
The focused countries include Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, which revealed that out of the five countries.
EnergyDay gathered that Nigeria has through the adoption of renewable energy solutions, built a strong market position in decentralized Renewable Energy(DRE) and is poised to reap the benefits of the alternative energy means as it addresses energy poverty and rural unemployment.
The DRE which it would to recalled includes pico- solar appliances, solar home systems (SHS), and Commercial and Industrial standalone systems (SISS), which has created employment opportunities for over 50,0000 people with access to power in millions of Nigeria, compared with the 65,000 job opportunities created by the oil and gas sector.
The report said “The renewable energy sector could create more than 76,000 new jobs by 2023 in solar services including home solutions, commercial and industrial appliances from 32,000 workers in 2019, according to a report by Power for All, a global coalition advocating renewable energy solutions to end blackouts.
“Until August this year, Nigeria was Africa’s biggest producer of crude with one of the world’s largest gas reserves. Poor power supply and a more than 200% increase in diesel prices this year after Russia invaded Ukraine, have driven demand for solar power in the country.
“Workers in the Nigerian renewable industry will exceed oil and gas employees totaling 65,000,” the report said.
According to the report, the country’s solar sector quickly recovered from lockdowns during the pandemic as it more than doubled workers to 50,000 in 2021, compared to the previous year.
“The sector is maturing with the percentage of formal and skilled workers comprising over half of the decentralized renewable energy workforce,” it said.
The report said with the launch of the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan(ETP) this year, which aims to attract private and public sector investments to expand solar infrastructure and grow gas-powered generation, the sector is expected to create more jobs in alignment with the country’s ambitious goal.
EnergyDay however gathered that the despite the job potentials created by the renewable energy sector in Nigeria, the burgeoning industry like other critical sector is still failing to adequately integrate women into the workforce and the report showed that this has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic related crisis.
The survey showed that the share of women working in the DRE sector in Nigeria was 37 percent, far behind 41 percent in Kenya, which remains the highest among the five countries focused on in the report.
Interestingly, the survey revealed that female participation was higher in DRE than in the conventional energy sector at only about 22 percent and in the broader renewable energy sector at 32 percent. This figure showed the role that DRE can play in bringing more women into more meaningful positions.
The report also showed that the sector is growing with the percentage of formal and skilled workers which made up over half of the DRE workforce in Nigeria, with more than 56 percent.
The DRE market evidently has a high share of skilled labourers as the technology becomes advanced and demands more advanced technical positions such as installation, technicians, and maintenance professionals.