BY OpeOluwani Akintayo
Nigeria has the potential to earn N7tn from mini-grids, grid and solar home systems, according to experts.
A document on ‘Energy Security & Transition Strategies Opportunities and Challenges in Nigeria’ obtained from the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists on Monday, said there exists between N4tn-N7tn ($10-$16bn) revenue streams in providing electrification for the unelectrified people in Nigeria if the Federal Government can latch on the grid, mini-grid and solar home system sector.
Nigeria currently has the lowest access to electricity globally, with about 92 million persons out of the current over 200 million lacking access to power, according to the Energy Progress Report 2022 released by the International Energy Agency, United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank, and the World Health Organisation.
According to the document, 146 million people do not have access to clean cooking in Nigeria, of which 96 million cannot afford clean cooking.
NAPE explained that the 96 million that cannot afford clean cooking represent 66 per cent of the total population that does not have access to clean cooking.
“African nations need to collectively continue to prioritise convenience, affordability, and reliability to reach a quality of life enjoyed by the industrialised world, which has powered its economic growth and achieved prosperity using hydrocarbons.
“Access to energy is crucial not only for the attainment of health and education outcomes but also for reducing the cost of doing business and for unlocking economic potential and creating jobs.
“With the worldwide pursuit for energy security, Africa must achieve sustainable energy security within the resources available,” the association noted, adding that fossil fuels would remain an important part of the overall energy mix,
Africa is a continent richly endowed with natural resources, with almost half of its 55 countries known to have proven natural gas reserves. Across the entire continent, natural gas reserves amount to more than 800 trillion cubic feet, with energy firm BP predicting that the production of natural gas in the continent will expand by 80 per cent by 2035.
Nigeria currently houses the continent’s largest natural gas reserves, about 206 trillion cubic feet.
According to Statistica, “Natural gas reserves in Africa will last another 55.7 years (reserves/production ratio) before being depleted, considering that the present level of production is maintained.”
NAPE also said gas remains the transitional fuel to a net zero carbon world, as natural gas demand increases worldwide, Africa and its resource-richness will play an increasing role in the supply chain.
The Federal Government has consistently declared gas as Nigeria’s transitional fuel.
An exclusive report by The PUNCH highlighted how FG intends to raise N4tn to drive its gas expansion plan.
However, NAPE said beyond the country’s natural gas pursuits, the government should also look towards diversifying its revenue streams by developing the mini-grids, grid and solar home system sector. (Punch)