The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has advised the National Ozone Office (NOO) to take the driver’s seat in the promotion of energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling in Nigeria.
This call is a significant step towards achieving the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the realm of sustainable energy.
The director of linkages, research and consultancy at the commission, Engr. Okon Ekpenyong gave the charge during a recent meeting with the team for the ‘Scaling Up Energy Efficient and Climate-Friendly Cooling in Nigeria’s NDC Revision’ project.
The project, initiated in collaboration with key partners including UNEP, Clean Cooling Collaborative and United for Efficiency (U4E), was launched in February 2022 with the primary objective to encourage the use of energy-efficient air conditioners that employ low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in public, residential and commercial buildings. The project gained further momentum with the establishment of a national technical committee (NTC) in March 2023.
Ekpenyong, who also serves as the project director, expounded on the purpose of the visit, explaining that the project team sought to engage directly with strategic stakeholders who hold a pivotal role in the project execution, to sensitise them about their crucial contributions and responsibilities in achieving the project’s over-arching goal.
“We aim to establish a partnership that ensures your office’s active involvement in the project activities. This collaboration will facilitate seamless integration, allowing us to work harmoniously towards our shared objectives,” said Ekpenyong.
During the meeting, the project director underscored the significance of acquiring accurate baseline data about the country’s air-conditioning landscape. The data, according to him, will serve as a cornerstone for the development of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS).
He said such standards are crucial for enhancing cooling efficiency and curbing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to ozone layer depletion.
“In order to accomplish this, we have enlisted the services of a market assessment expert who is currently conducting a comprehensive evaluation of all air conditioners and their key parameters in the field. Our visit here serves a dual purpose – the market assessment and the establishment of baseline data essential for designing and revising minimum energy performance standards.
“Our first critical step in this project is to establish this baseline data, which will subsequently inform our efforts to update and improve the available information. We hope to identify common ground and shared information by collaborating and potentially leveraging data from other projects.”
Similarly, the project coordinator, Etiosa Uyigue elaborated on the importance of the baseline study, saying the project will build upon an existing report by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), which covered the nation’s status up to 2015.
The project’s objective was to bring the report up to date, incorporating developments until 2022, he said.
“The rationale behind our actions is to generate metrics for MEPS. To achieve this, we need a comprehensive understanding of the existing market landscape. This knowledge is essential to strike a balance – we want to set standards that enhance efficiency without rendering cooling solutions unaffordable for the general population,” Uyigue added.
Responding to the proposal, the director of NOO, Engr. Idris Abdullahi made a commitment to collaborate fully with the project. He expressed enthusiasm for a synergistic partnership that would prevent redundancy and facilitate streamlined efforts.
“We are eager to explore synergies and harmonise our activities, avoiding any duplication. The partnership will undoubtedly streamline our work processes and make them more efficient. The implications of the Kigali Amendment, particularly in the climate realm, are multifaceted. As we venture into the phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), we are fully committed to providing you with the necessary information and strategy documents to ensure the success of our collaboration,” the director stated. The ECN’s directive to the NOO marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s pursuit of sustainable and energy-efficient cooling systems. The collaborative efforts of these organisations, bolstered by the involvement of strategic stakeholders, hold the potential to revolutionise the cooling industry in Nigeria while contributing significantly to global climate goals.