Just like what is happening in other countries of the world, Nigeria in this 21st century is facing enormous challenges, and one of these challenges is power.
This country with confronted electricity challenges from power generation to power transmission and power distribution.
The major sources of electricity in Nigeria are gas and hydropower, and that is why for some years now, homes, and businesses, as well as industries are facing enormous challenges when it comes to accessing electricity.
Nigeria, as a country, is reputed to be the seventh (7) most populous nation the world over, and its population in 2013 had reached 170 million, as reported by the National Population Commission.
However, going by that number, about 60 percent of the population in this country have no access to electricity, as also reported by Nigeria’s Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission.
Like other countries of the world with such experience of similar setbacks, the solution to the problem has never been from focusing on a single source of energy, but sources were diversified.
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Given the importance of renewable energy, it will be quite interesting to see countries involving green sources of energy in their own mix. Such actions will to a large extent increase in Total Electricity Installed Capacity (TEIC).
Although a number of projects have been proposed for the purpose of increasing the total electricity installed capacity TEIC of the country because the country’s TEIC is currently standing at 6,000 MW.
However, some of the proposals are; to develop new hydropower plants in Mambilla, which is about 3,050 MW, as well as in Zungeru, which 700 MW, including a 10-MW wind farm in Katsina state.
When you consider the following TEICs of about nine countries, as well as, their respective estimated populations, for instance in 2010; you will discovered that, United States had (1,000,000 MW, 315 million), and Argentina had (32,000 MW, 40 million), and Venezuela had (23,000 MW, 29 million), and Poland had (33,000 MW, 38 million), and United Kingdom had (93,000 MW, 64 million).
South Africa had (44,000 MW, 51 million), and Morocco had (6,000 MW, 32 million), and Egypt had (27,000 MW, 83 million), and Libya had (6,000 MW, 6 million).
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And when you look critically at the above figures and compare them to that of Nigeria, which is about (6,000 MW, 170 million), it will show that, there is an urgent need for action, and what common to other countries are listed above is simply the adoption and inclusion of renewable energy sources.
Perhaps, this explained why renewable energy investors are in dire need of availing themselves the available investment opportunities in the country after Nigeria was considered one of the top investment nations and growth destinations by the global audit, and finance and tax advisory firm KPMG sometime in March 2013.
The above report is one reason why the federal government should step in, and step up efforts in order to promote the development of renewable energy in the country by creating conducive and enabling environment for a sound investment and favourable policies on the area of renewables such that will guarantee financial rewards, for example, tax exemptions as well as renewable energy credits.
And going by the benefits of increasing electricity generation in the country from solar, and wind, and hydropower and biomass, the likelihood is that, there are going to be numerous opportunities.
The most significant aspect of these opportunities will be the creation of millions of jobs, which means increased incomes, and economic growth and also a more stable power supply in the country.
Although at present, the accessibility of power in the country is limited, and it is approximately about 40 percent of the Nigerian population that has access to a power supply, which is about 4000 MW as against a suppressed demand was is estimated at about 10,000 MW per day.
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Nevertheless, the Government’s target is that it wants to make sure that, it connects an average of say, 1.5 million households per year via grid extension, including non-grid solutions by using renewable energy for example, solar, and wind, as well as, small and medium hydro.
The Energy Commission of Nigeria is said to have foreseen a huge growth in the country electricity generation of about 100,000 MW electricity generation in Nigeria by the year, 2030.
The federal government of Nigeria plans to make sure that, it generates, at least $16.4 billion via asset sales in some years to come so as to reduce the burden on the public budget as well as, transmission and also on the distribution of about $5 billion, which is required.
A grant commitment of about $767,512 has been announced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the purpose of supporting the development of Nigeria’s renewable energy.
More so, studies have revealed that Nigeria, as a country is the 7th, that has the largest natural gas reserve the world over and that, significant opportunities have existed in supplying the infrastructure that is required.
Interestingly too, African Development Bank AfDB has approved the sum of $100 million to be used in the rehabilitation of hydro plants so as to increase the available capacity of electricity to 1,338.4 MW.
More so, about $1.9 million grant has also been signed by AfDB and the West African Power Pool, and the grant was for the Nigeria-Benin Interconnector Reinforcement Project.
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Nigeria is a country that is blessed with renewable energy resources, but the challenge is that these abundant resources have not been exploited fully.
The renewable resources in the country, according to the reliable source, have the capacity of changing the level of power generation and power consumption in Nigeria.
Perhaps, that is why renewable energy investors are in dire need of availing themselves the available investment opportunities in the country after Nigeria was considered one of the top investment nations and growth destinations by the global audit, and finance and tax advisory firm KPMG sometime in March 2013.
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