Mini-grid plants’ll address 40,000MW power demand – Energy council

The establishment of mini-grid, off-grid and embedded power plants will help address Nigeria’s 40,000 megawatts electricity demand, the Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria has stated.

Nigeria’s power generation currently hovers between 3,500MW and 4,000MW, while the national grid only has capacity to take a little above 7,000MW of electricity.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of CREN in Abuja on Saturday, the immediate past Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria and Chairman, Board of Trustees, CREN, Abubakar Sambo, said the council would submit a paper to the government on how mini-grids could address power challenges in Nigeria.

He said, “We are to submit a position paper to document how renewable energy can significantly boost the power supply situation of Nigeria like it is doing in other developed and developing countries of the world.

“What we need to do essentially is to ensure that large cities which are major load centres that have too much load shedding that loading is stopped by deploying embedded power plants. Embedded plants can be solar, photovoltaic or gas power systems around big cities.”

Sambo added, “That will open up a range of activities, create jobs and then for the smaller towns and rural areas, especially those with economic activities. They will get mini-grid and off-grid power plants. This resolve for embedded power plants, mini-grid and off grid solutions is because the grid as it is cannot take more than 7,000MW.

“But studies have shown that the current power demand of Nigeria is between 30,000MW and 40,000MW. And the only way for that quantum of power to be made available is to resort to embedded, mini-grid and off-grid power plants. So, we need to make our submission to government on this issue in the next few weeks.”

The former ECN boss also noted that the government was seriously thinking about what to do with the privatised power firms, adding that the submission by CREN would serve as a guide.

Sambo said, “Government is looking desperately into this. It is thinking about what to do regarding the sale of the 17 power entities to the private sector. Of course, I’m sure you are aware that the sale agreement elapsed last year and government gave extension of one year that will elapse in December.

“We need to discuss this same issue as we think of boosting power supply and advise government to take the correct decision for our dear country.”

The President of the council, Anita Okuribido, explained that CREN was established with the intention of ensuring Nigeria’s energy security through large-scale implementation of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria.

Also speaking on the sidelines of the AGM, the President, West African Federation of Engineering Organisations, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, said Nigeria had so much opportunities to tap in the use of renewable energy for power.

He said, “The study done by the Energy Commission of Nigeria has indicated that there is sufficient solar radiation that you can get solar energy from. They have also done a wind mapping of the whole country onshore.

“They are also going to do offshore mapping to determine the areas that have the highest potential for wind energy. There are quite a lot of areas in the country that have been identified as being suitable for hosting wind farms and solar power plants.”


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