By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) has rated Nigeria low in power supply as the country consumes 80 per cent below expectation based on its current population and income levels.
A professor of Mechanical and Production Engineering at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Adisa Bello, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at its ninth yearly general meeting.
He said the energy demand estimates and projections for Nigeria suggested that demand was already substantial and increasing rapidly due to growth population and income.
Bello noted that economic growth should be commensurate with increased access to modern energy services, especially in low and middle-income countries transitioning through accelerated industrial development phase.
“As Africa’s largest population and economy, Nigerians consume only about 144 kwh per capita yearly. Currently Nigerians consume on the average, 197kwh per capita every year compared to the African average of 500kwh and world average of 2,604kwh. With only about 12GW installed and typically just one-third of that delivered,” he said.
He also revealed that the country’s power production fell far below demand, which he said, was a primary constraint to economic growth, adding: “Self-generation using generators are exceedingly common in Nigeria and bear a significant economic and environmental cost.
“Nearly 14GW capacity exists in small-scale diesel and petrol generators, and nearly half of all electricity consumed is self-generated. This implies a huge un-served and underserved demand.
“Nigeria is one of the most underpowered countries in the world, with actual consumption of 80 per cent below expectations based on current population and income levels. Peer countries consume far more electricity per capita than Nigeria does currently. Ghana consumes over twice as much, Tunisia over 10 times and South Africa almost 30 times as much.”
He expressed concern that energy demand in the coming years would rise significantly, maintaining that household energy demand, which had the largest share, would rise due to rising urbanisation (at 4.23 per cent per annum) and population growth (estimated at 2.7 per cent per annum, while global growth rate is 1.19 per cent.
Bello explained that these rates were more than twice the global averages, adding: “Industrial and commercial demands are also expected to increase as Nigeria slowly rises from the recent recession (with projected gross domestic product rates trending between 4.50 and 7.0 per cent.
“Even at optimistic capacity factors and assumptions about delivery ability, Nigeria needs over 63GW of new generation to satisfy unmet demands. Until something drastic is quickly done, expensive self-generation will remain pervasive.
“Credible sources have stated that for Nigeria to achieve universal access to electricity, it will have to connect between 500,000 to 800,000 new households to electricity every year between 2018 and 2030.”
Speaking, Chairman of the Abuja chapter of NIMechE, Jamilu Babura, said: “The focus of this year’s AGM is to focus on multiple ways of getting energy to the nation. So that we will not be dependent on one source of energy biodiesel is another source of energy, which is very common to harness very simple and almost readily available at every part of the country, no part of the country that is of shortage of this biodiesel process.”