Nigeria’s energy crisis cannot be solved by half measured approach

Jul 09, 2002 02:00 AM

The Energy Commission of Nigeria has said that the nation's energy crisis cannot be solved by construction of new power plants, new refineries and importation of fuels. The commission claims that only proper orientation of energy suppliers and consumers on prudent use of energy can guarantee energy security.
The Director-General of the commission, Professor I.H. Umar disclosed this at a workshop jointly organised by Energy Commission of Nigeria and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Lagos. He described the building of power plants, refineries and the importation of fuels, as half measured approach, noting that the measure does not adequately consider the opportunities and potentials that arise from efficient energy use.
According to him, "only integrated resource planning strategies which consider both the supply-side and demand-side management can be considered sustainable. This requires a fundamental re-orientation from strategies that focus on conventional supply-expansion to those that give greater emphasis to energy end-use efficiency improvement."

The workshop titled “Energy Reduction in Pumps and Pumping Systems” was targeted at organisations with fluid-flow systems in order to create awareness on the need to improve and attain energy efficiency in pumping systems operation. The workshop revealed that electricity accounts for about (20-30 %) of a water treatment plant's total operating cost and that more than 80 % of the electricity consumed by these systems is used for pumping. It also maintained that oversize fluid-flow systems and even wasting of water pumped by the water corporation amounts to imprudent energy management.
Professor Umar noted, "in pumping operations, opportunities exist for conservation with improved pumps and with optimising the design of the fluid-flow system. In designing a fluid-flow system, the energy losses can be minimised by matching flow to actual process requirements, reducing restrictions in the system by using a largepipe size, and operating the system at a low pressure among others.

Jossy Thomas who stood in for UNIDO Representative and Director RIDC in Nigeria, Dr K.K. Yumkella said reliable energy supply is a precondition to sustainable development. He added that Nigerian industrial and domestic energy consumers should inculcate the culture of rational use of energy. However, he disclosed that a recent fact-finding mission by UNIDO reveals that Nigeria is in grip of an acute electric power crisis due to declining available generation capacity from domestic plants as well as lack of maintenance in the distribution system.
He said that Nigeria's power sector operates well below 50 % of its rated capacity. The way out of this problem Thomas maintained is to incorporate both supply-side and demand-side management options.

Furthermore, he recommended the use of new technologies such as high-efficiency motors, variable speed drives to accommodate fluctuating demand requirements. Right sizing of head and piping, replacement of outdated equipment and meter flow to identify and eliminate leaks, he added could bring about substantial energy and cost saving in pumps and pumping systems.
"Application of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems) tremendously help to cut cost in pumping systems just as management tools like Life Cycle Cost Analysis help to minimize waste and maximize energy efficiency in pumping systems," he disclosed.

Source: Vanguard/All Africa Global Media
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