Nigeria can generate 427,000MW from solar – Gencos


Nigeria can generate about 427,000 megawatts of electricity from solar energy that comes from the sun, power generation companies have said.

Nigeria currently generates less than 5,000MW for more than 200 million people.

For instance, data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power, on Sunday, showed that power generation on the grid as of 6am was 3,803.6MW.

The Chief Executive Officer, Association of Power Generation Companies, Joy Ogaji, while making a presentation titled, ‘The Electricity Act 2023: Options for renewable energy penetration and role of stakeholders’, said more than 420,000MW of power could be generated from solar energy in Nigeria.

She spoke at a one-day workshop on renewable energy penetration and roles of stakeholders, organised by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Association-Alliance in Abuja.

The REEEA-A made the presentation available to our correspondent on Sunday.

She said, “The potential of renewable energy in Nigeria is huge. The country has solar radiation of 3.5 to 7.0 kWh/m2 per day, and 427,000MW can be generated in Nigeria from solar alone!

“Hydro resources are estimated at 14,750MW. Wind speeds of 2-5m/s with a potential of 150,000 TJ per year.”

Explaining the current renewable energy situation in Nigeria, the Gencos official said there was no renewable energy generation connected at the distribution, or transmission level, though there were targets.

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She said, “Majority (of the energy generation) are off-grid, solar home systems and rooftop solar, though there is no clear data. Cost of renewable energy in Nigeria at approximately $0.55 to $0.6/kWh is not competitive compared to utility, which is approximately $0.105/kWh.

“Achieving set targets with mini-grids will be a slow process. If 1,000 mini-grids of 1MW each are built, we will only achieve 1GW (gigawatts).”

On the challenges in the renewable market, she said domestic demand in West African countries was too low to attract investments in large projects that benefitted from economies of scale.

Ogaji said, “Lack of effective planning and monitoring has led to reliance on emergency rental plants, which further inflates costs. Imbalance in bilateral contracts for the purchase and sale of electricity, especially for deliveries beyond the borders, payment defaults of buyers, as well as the failures to deliver the electricity promised by several sellers.

“There is a lack of synergy in the regulatory frameworks of some member states. Differences in contractual arrangements and disparities in the organisation of national markets are challenges. Lack of harmonisation and standardisation in operational, security rules, contractual provisions and tariffs are concerns.”

The President, REEEA-A, Prof. Magnus Onuoha, said with enough renewable energy capacity, Nigeria could create green jobs, entrepreneurs and evolve women and youth empowerment.

Onuoha said, “Beyond installation and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, there are millions of ancillary jobs/efforts that accrue from there.

“There are so many activities, new dynamics, technologies, interventions, measures, policies and relationships flowing around the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector.

“Globally, the Russia-Ukraine war showed us that beyond energy transition, we need to look vigorously at energy security. Here in Nigeria, the fuel subsidy removal, the Electricity Act recently signed into law, rising cost of energy dominant systems and measures, show us that it is time for a very critical rapprochement and behavioural change towards renewable energy and energy efficiency.” ,

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