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ELECTRICITY COMPANIES NEED INDUSTRIAL LOCATIONS TO PROSPER| November 2015

 
Prof. Oluwole Adegbenro


Professor, Oluwole Adegbenro, former Director of Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Studies and Head of department of electrical, electronic and computer engineering at the University of Lagos. He told Simon Ugwu that Nigeria will face power issues for a long time.

Even if there are improvements, they are not visible for a lot of reasons. Power is generated from where the raw materials and resources are available, then, transmitted to the bulk users for distribution. The transmission process is a long distant problem and done at a very high voltage. Nigeria needs extensive network for safe and reliable transmission, so there must be more than one root resource; whenever there is a problem with one root you use another to transmit. The networks have not been fine-tuned to take care of the exigencies. Places like Abuja enjoy better power supply than Lagos, but Abuja is the Federal Capital Territory. The transmission system must cover wider areas and upgraded to cope with modern developments. Lagos still has some transmission lines of the colonial period.

The distribution systems are also obsolete, the centralized system with one big transformer serving many areas is inefficient and when the central transformer breaks down, it will affects everybody.

GENCOs’ challenge
GENCOs need to be where the resources are such as gas, petroleum or diesel, water resources for dam, to generate power. They need large funds and must do surveys to ensure the locations are suitable. Building a transmission line is very expensive, you have to cross terrains and that is very difficult for the civil and engineering works. The alternative is to build small generating stations within the locality and they must contend with environmental pollution, noise pollution problems, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best generation resource
Nigeria’s problem is consistent planning. The energy commission is meant to plan for the government. The need to set up research centres is realized, in Benin there is research centre for environmental aspect of energy, Bauchi has research centre on how to use petroleum resources to generate energy. In Ilorin the centre looks at hydro resources, while Sokoto caters for all energy needs. Lagos is concerned with energy efficiency and conservation. The centres have been in operation for six years now, but the long term effects are yet to be felt. Nigeria also has to address issues of power wastages like Britain and Ghana did. Energy requires continuous planning and processing.

Nigeria flaring 1.6 billion standard cubic gas daily
Any process comes with its own wastages. There lots of wastes in energy conversion, it is capital intensive. It is cheaper to flare when what is needed is petroleum.  The petroleum sector focuses on positive economic impact issues, things that have negative impact on the processes are kept aside.

How Nigerian GENCOs can generate more than 40, 000 MW
Investors need returns on investments, if we want massive investments on energy, we have to find out where there are enough industries to support the energy company. We require more energy for commercial than domestic purposes. It is not wise investing so much in the generation of power that cannot be sustained. Whatever we do, we must make sure it serves the purpose, otherwise, it will be a waste of resources if it is not generating income. Demand for energy in Nigeria is far above the plans now. Nigeria will have to face the issues of power supply for a long time.

How lucrative are electricity generation and distribution businesses?
Very lucrative. Nigeria is a very big market, but are Nigerians solvent enough to afford electricity consumption? Lucrative as it may be, people must have the purchasing power to pay for it.

 

 

 


 

 

       
       
       
 

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