Nigeria Relies On Renewable Energy To Boost Electricity Grid And Economy | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Comment, Opinion

Nigeria Relies On Renewable Energy To Boost Electricity Grid And Economy

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 at 1:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Renewable energy is taking domination in Nigeria with the country targeting to accomplish 7 percent renewable energy use by 2025. With the aid of solar energy, the country is working to provide power security to about 160 million of her population and boost her economy.

The solar energy project is however unlocking the country’s economical and industrial potentialities. It is also attracting more foreign investments, new-fangled scientific breakthroughs. Only recently Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State maintained that the effectiveness and deliverance of substitute energy technologies have to be improveed upon.

Experts have been encouraging the authorities, noting that energy, which stimulates growth, is the bedrock of any economy. Even small and medium scale enterprises need energy if they must develop.

With the once over-dependence of Nigeria on gas to provide national grid is today being substituted with solar energy. Nigeria’s plentiful renewable energy resources that were once neglected, have become amongst the economic pillars of the country in the areas of solar energy, biomass, wind energy, micro hydro-energy, and biofuel.

The Nigerian authorities have reckoned with the fact that one of the advantages of renewable energy is that it can be decentralized and, private investors encouraged to invest. Specialists have been saying that government cannot do everything alone and that its investment is not sufficient, hence the need for private investment and other sectors to invest in renewable energy.

Professor Titilayo Kuku of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, believes, “Promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria will address the challenges of power in the country. Green energy/renewable energy are cleaner sources of energy, and therefore are sustainable forms of energy. Renewable energy can continuously be harvested because it is inexhaustible in supply and has been considered by most developing countries as an essential component of extending access to affordable energy.”


Electricity grid

The Federal Government has to add 2,483 megawatts (MW) to Nigeria’s electricity grid from renewable sources before the end of the year. While making a presentation on the draft policy, the Director of the Electrical Inspectorate Services (EIS) of the Ministry of Power, Abayomi Adebisi, said that the 2,483MW was targeted for this year.

This, he added, was for a short term mark, while 8,188MW and 23,134MW were medium and long term targets for 2020 and 2030 respectively. Adebisi however said that renewable energy is predicted to contribute about 1.3 per cent of Nigeria’s energy.

In the same vein, Professor Kuku extolled the invention of renewable energy owing to the crisis facing the country’s electricity generation. Accordingto him “With the current generated capacity of about 4,000MW for a population of about 160 million, with energy per capita of 30 watts, the country is in dire straits regarding energy sufficiency with the attendant consequences on all developmental indicators of employment, growth, production, security, general wellbeing, among others.”


Call for more funding

“Global Environment Facility (GEF) is sponsoring the project with about 4.4 million dollars, but we are looking at compliment funding from private investment. This is because for every GEF project, there must be a counterpart funding from the government or any other investor.

Cost of renewable energy

A public affairs analyst, Felix Okoli in an exposition on Wednesday July 9, 2014, said, “Personally, I use a Foldable Solar panel which I hang on my window facing the Sun and this cost me $60 (about N10200). I’ve also seen solar mobile chargers which are meant for just charging mobile phone batteries and those ones cost about $30 (N5100). In order to power my TV with a Solar panel, I would probably need a 100 Watt Solar energy and that costs about N25, 000 ($150) in the Nigerian market.

“The bottom-line is that the Solar panel you’ll need would depend on how much power you need. Solar panels are categorized based on their power output. A 100 Watt Solar panel will cost more than a 10 Watt Solar panel and it continues like that. One of the first things to calculate before deciding on the type of Solar panels you want to buy is the Watt-Hours. This is basically a calculation you get by multiplying your Watt (Power) requirement by the number of hours you want those Watts.”

According to Okoli: “Let us assume you want to power your TV with a solar panel, one of the first things you would need to find out is the power requirement for your TV; you can look at the back of your TV to confirm it.

“Let’s assume it is 300 watts and you need to power it for at least 4 hrs. It then means that the Watt-Hours is 1200WH. The next step is to finding a Solar panel that can supply at least 1200 Watt-hrs and this power is normally going to be stored in a deep cycle battery.”

He continued: You can simply get a single 400 Watt Solar panel unit, 4 units of 100 Watts Solar panels or 2 units of 200 watt Solar panels. You are also going to need a battery to store the power which the solar energy has generated and a 12V Deep cycle battery would do. Based on our power requirements of 1200WH, a 100AH 12V battery will be able to supply a total of 1200AH for the 4 hrs.”

•Onwumere, wrote in from Rivers State.