Agusto advise govt on energy diversification, renewable adoption – Nexus News

With an unfulfilled energy request of about 20,000 megawatts (MW), a global research firm, Agusto & Co, has implored the Nigerian government to use policies and incentives to drive innovation in renewable energy technologies in order to diversify its energy sources.

The firm said that while grid-connected electricity supply remains the cheapest means of power in Nigeria, it is not always economically suitable for construction of gas pipelines and/or transmission cables to some remote villages with very little request for electricity.

Nigeria’s present energy mix is heavily hauled towards gas, with 23 thermal plants contributing 76 per cent of the total installed generating capacity. However, years of underinvestment in the domestic gas market due to price controls, regulatory problems and pipeline vandalism have questioned the commercial viability of gas supply to the power sector.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewables will amount for about 95 per cent of the increase in worldwide power capacity by 2026, with solar photovoltaics (PV) alone accounting for over half of the anticipated expansion.

The world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewables will increase significantly in the next few years. In 2022, a projected $472 billion will be invested in renewable energy, 44 per cent more than in 2017, when $326 billion was spent.

However, the difficulties facing the Nigerian power sector are well documented, over-laboured and cut across the industry’s entire value chain with about 47 percent of Nigerians lacking access to grid electricity and those who do have access experience regular power outages.

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Agusto & Co also cautioned that although Nigeria has undertaken to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent between now and 2030 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, aspirations are rather lofty considering that the country is still grappling with inadequate electricity supply from the national grid as unfulfilled demand is estimated at approximately 20,000 megawatts (MW).

Amid these crises, Agusto noted that potential exists as abundant and diverse natural resources make it capable of producing reasonable amounts of clean and renewable energy (particularly solar energy) as the country is situated within a high sunshine belt and has reasonable solar energy potential.

Agusto & Co also believes that there is a need to increase the present energy mix to include renewables.

According to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), “the average yearly daily sunshine in Africa’s largest economy is 6.25 hours. Nigeria’s Northern region enjoys average solar radiation of about 25.2MJ/m2 (megajoule/square meter) per day, with an average of 12.6MJ/m2 in coastal areas. Wind speeds ranging between 2.5m/s and 6.5m/s in the Northern region of Nigeria, owing to the large expanse of dry land, also present opportunities to generate wind power, while biomass remains a potential and untapped source of bio-energy given the amount of waste produced.

“Renewable energy plants can be constructed in remote areas as an alternative to running several kilometers of transmission cables, which are subject to vandalism. The poor and erratic power supply from the national grid also provides opportunities for small-scale renewable projects for individual households.”

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