By Iselowo Kolawole Kehinde
Based on a report by National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), between year 2000 to 2019, Nigeria has spent well over $25bn on various energy generation projects, and a whopping $8bn yearly to fuel generators by over 60 million Nigerians, individual businesses and heavy industries to produce electricity needed for production and various purposes.
Doing the numbers, we have $8bn * 19 Years = $152bn, $25bn + $152bn = $177bn expended over the course of 19 years. This is a relatively high with no tangible results as the total megawatt produced is well below 10,000 mega-watts. Did you also know that to develop either a biogas, solar or wind plant to generate at least a 1000 megawatts costs just about $1bn? Multiplying that $152bn that gives us a whooping 152, 000 megawatts of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources.
Apart from cleansing the ozone layer, renewals also provide jobs in the following areas – installation, maintenance, procurement, labor and grid development.
For Nigeria to solve the energy crises, three things must be done and put in place:
1.) Restructuring of National Grid and Distribution Network, whereby independent power producing citizens can feed back into the National Grid and earn some sort of revenue based on amount of watts fed back. The distribution network should be modernized and technology employed. For example, prepaid metering systems should be mandatory. For this to work, stringent rules have to be removed to enable independent producers produce their own electricity, and incentives should be provided.
2.) Set up a Division of Renewable Energy and Research (within Energy Commission of Nigeria) whose primarily focus would be utilizing renewable energy sources to generate electricity and embark on massive researches to optimize new and existing models. With the abundance of organic waste, sunlight and wind, Nigeria can’t go wrong with a focused Renewable Energy and Research.
3.) Every state should produce its own Electricity in a capacity of at least 500 megawatts, and interest-free loans should be provided to the states to produce this electricity. To produce a standard 500 MW gas plant, the budget is about $600M, giving out this loans to the 36 states including the FCT it means we would be having 500MW * 37 States (FCT Included) = 18,500 MW amounting to $22bn in amount which is far less that the amount Nigeria has spent over the course of her existence on various electricity generating projects.
Writing this article reminds me of a publication that I saw recently on the internet where some countries have in near future will phase out carbon or petrol-powered vehicles. The industrial redesign is huge – Nigeria needs to get ready.