The University from its inception noted the important role of energy towards the socio-economic development of the people of Katsina State and Nigeria in general. This prompted the quick establishment of the Centre for Renewable Energy Research in 2009 barely two years from inception of the University. The Centre houses a pilot 50m3 biogas digester for domestic cooking and public institutions for demonstration and further research activities, a wind-solar hybrid power generation pilot system with the potential for deployment in rural off-grid power supply and many other applications. The Centre was established with great assistance of Petroleum Training and Development Fund (PTDF) in terms of building infrastructure and equipment. There are active research projects of concentrating solar power (CSP) with fuel cell storage backup and that of coal briquettes in collaboration CNES, Niamey and University of Maradi, all in Niger Republic.
The Energy Centre is also the lead agency for an EU project on sustainable development of farm agro forestry and fuel wood conservation system in North Western Katsina State, under the farmer managed renewable energy production initiative. The following achievements have been made under the EU project:
- Planting of 2 million trees in 6,200 farmlands across the 5 LGAs of Batsari, Batagarawa, Jibia, Kaita and Rimi, with total coverage of more than 30,000 hectares.
- Establishment of 300 nurseries across the 5 LGAS
- Training of more than 6,000 farmers on various models of agroforestry practices.
- 500 youth and women from 25 CBOs and cooperatives from the 5 LGAs have been trained on Non-Wood Tree Product processing techniques.
- 250 local porters have been trained on production of the improved mud wood stoves
- Establishment of mud stoves production centres at the LGAs with total capacity to produce 10,000 mud stoves per annum.
In collaboration and with active support of GIZ, the German International Cooperation Agency, USAID, POWER AFRICA, WINROCK and EU, the Energy Research organized Professional Training Course on Solar PV Installation and Solar PV Installation Supervision and it is one out of only two Centres in Nigeria to organized such programme, the other is in Lagos.
Research effort towards Research and Development, within the last one year (2016-2017) a total of 33 research projects were funded to the tune of N54,353,614.00. Research groups are emerging within the Faculties and encouragement and incentives are provided for research projects that address national development. Similarly a research and development policy of the University drives the research efforts.
A total of thirty three academic staff have benefited with individual (lead) research grant from TETFund from 2016 to date and more are being processed.