Epileptic Electricity Supply – Energy Insecurity in Nigeria, a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode!

Epileptic Electricity Supply – Energy Insecurity in Nigeria, a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode!

The International Energy Agency (IEA) defines energy security as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price. Energy security has many aspects: long-term energy security mainly deals with timely investments to supply energy in line with economic developments and environmental needs. On the other hand, short-term energy security focuses on the ability of the energy system to react promptly to sudden changes in the supply-demand balance.” Source www.iea.org

The future of Nigeria is bright, indeed I really think it is but alas, the bright future is seemingly becoming elusive.

Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources, arable land and a teeming young population. The Nigerian economy is mono-cultural, the economy has lived off and depended on oil and gas for survival since time immemorial. This has proved unsustainable with the falling crude oil price and decrease in demand for fossil fuel around the world.

Nigeria has been caught in her own web of uncertainty due to various policy somersaults over time and kleptomaniac leaders holding sway in Government.

The larger part of Nigeria’s revenue of about 80% is derived from oil and gas, 90% of oil and gas makes up the country’s exports while 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings is also from oil and gas.

Electricity in Nigeria is heavily dependent on oil and gas, 64% of the country’s power generation is derived from gas-power plants – A TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE.

Energy security – availability plays a major role in growing and sustaining world economies, most leading economies are constantly improving on more reliable sources of energy particularly for electricity.

Nigeria is endowed with an annual average daily sunshine of 6.25 hours ranging between 3.5 hours at the coastal region and 9.0 hours in the northern region. Nigeria receives about 5.08 x 1012 kWh of energy per day from the sun and if solar energy appliances with just 5% efficiency are used to cover only 1% of the country’s surface area, then 2.54 x 10 6 MWh of electrical energy can be obtained from solar energy and this amount of electrical energy is equivalent to 4.66 million barrels of oil per day. There is a greater accessibility and availability of solar energy for Nigeria to develop her solar energy technology.

Nigeria also has enormous hydro-electricity potentials with seven river basins in the country, namely Sokoto, River Niger, Hadejia-Jama’re, Chad, Upper Benue, Lower Benue and Cross River with small scale hydropower potentials estimated to be about 734.2 MW.

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) estimated that Nigeria’s hydro potential currently stands at 12,220 MW.

The future of Nigeria can indeed be bright if the abundant available renewable energy resources is harnessed. Nigeria has the potential to make available abundant electricity to her populace and also export electricity to neighboring countries.

According to the World Bank census bureau (2013), Nigeria has a population of 173.6 million. It is no news that epileptic electricity supply has bedeviled Nigeria for years with the highest peak electricity supply of 5,074 MW recorded in February, 2016. it’s a drop in the ocean compared to South Africa which produces about 40,000 MW electricity for a population of 52.98 million.

It is not rocket science that attaining energy security lies in the ability to diversify the sources of electricity. Nigeria has only two sources of electricity generation namely gas-power and hydro.

According to the new aggregated power poll result released by NOIP polls in January 2017, the report shows a downward trend of electricity supply with the lowest supply of 27% public grid electricity in December 2016 recorded.

With the drop in water level of hydropower dams (Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba) in the dry season and the incessant unrest of the Niger delta where bombings of oil and gas installations appears to be a recurrent threat to gas – power plants, the energy insecurity in Nigeria is so glaring and a TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE – and if does, the country may someday be subjected to total collapse of public grid availability.

To detonate the TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE, Nigeria needs to seriously start to formulate and put into immediate practice diversified sources and supply of electricity for the nations survival.

Solar in the north, small hydro in the north, south, east and west, clean coal in the east and so forth. With effective energy policies enacted by the government, investments will be attracted for the development of various energy mix which will in-turn secure energy security for the nation.

by Oneal Lajuwomi.

Oneal is the MD/CEO & Founder at Wavelength Integrated Power Services

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