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Renewables Readiness Assessment: Niger

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Gauri Singh, Safiatou Alzouma Nouhou, Mohamed Youba Sokona
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A renewables readiness assessment (RRA) identifies the actions needed to overcome a country’s barriers to renewable energy deployment, with IRENA providing technical support and expertise to facilitate consultations among different national stakeholders. Niger’s RRA highlights the need for a dedicated renewable energy law to establish the legal, economic and institutional basis for promoting renewable energy sources and technologies. According to the assessment, solar energy could be harnessed extensively in Niger, but a suitable investment model for this needs to be established. And, the authors argue that the national utility consider hybridizing the 70 diesel-powered mini-grids that exist throughout the country with solar photovoltaic installations. The RRA report is structured in five substantive sections. Section 1 presents the country background and a brief on the RRA process in Niger. Section 2 presents the renewable and general energy context in the region. It includes an overview of the energy sector in Niger, its challenges and an overview of renewable energy potential and use. It also provides a detailed discussion of the electricity sector. Section 3 explores Niger’s energy institutions and the policy and regulatory framework as well as the conditions of financing and investment in the country. Section 4 presents the emerging concerns relating to solar/wind electricity (on-grid), a range of decentralized (offgrid) applications as well as the biomass sector. Opportunities and constraints that affect deployment scale-up are discussed along with the RRA findings. Section 5 presents the recommended action necessary for scaling up renewable energy in Niger. Annex I presents a detailed account of the recommended action identified by the RRA.