Nigeria has one of the largest populations and economies in Africa, yet according to a recent article in The Guardian, the World Bank estimates that 90-million people (50% of the population), in Nigeria do not have access to an electricity supply.
This is problematic for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the power generating facilities in the country are already overloaded, resulting in the transmission systems taking the strain. If alternative power sources are not explored, the reliability of the nation’s power as a whole may be compromised.
In the spirit of exploring sustainable energy solutions, the third annual Nigeria Energy Forum was held at Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria in April 2018. The theme this year was, “Accelerating Access to Sustainable Energy for All”. The forum was attended by more than 180 participants from government, industry associations, development partners, academia and the private sector in Nigeria’s energy supply industry.
Mohammed Mijindadi, Managing Director of GE Gas Power Systems in Nigeria, gave a talk on sustainable technologies for powering energy networks. He predicts that the future energy system of Nigeria will be a diversified and decentralized generation mix with a flexible, digital transmission network as well as a localized, scalable distribution network.
An article in Footprint to Africa reports that primary energy consumption in Nigeria is largely satisfied by traditional biomass and waste, and accounts for about 74% of the energy mix. This high share represents the use of biomass to meet off-grid heating and cooking needs, mainly in rural areas. The other 26% is made up of oil, gas, and hydropower.
For GE, gas is an integral part of Nigeria’s energy future and the company is making significant investments in developing this power source. Currently, GE in partnership with the Nigerian government is delivering 240MW of gas-fired power from the Afam 3 Power Plant.
Mohammed closed off his presentation with key recommendations. For Nigeria to move towards a future of power networks controlled with sustainable technologies, there are key actions that the country must take:
- Firstly, the government must align the value chain and provide policies that cover everything from power generation to distribution.
- Secondly, the government must develop cost-reflective tariffs and sync tariffs with measurable results. Part of the challenge in Nigeria is finding a cost-effective energy supply that is sustainable with long-term confidence for investors.
- Lastly, the Nigerian government also needs to work with technology providers such as GE on ways to deploy sustainable technologies into Nigeria and develop a supply chain to sustain these technologies over the long term.