Nigeria: Huge renewable energy potential remains untapped

Jun 08, 2016 12:00 AM

As the country strive to meet its energy requirements, an international renewable expert has declared that Nigerian is under-utilising its renewable energy potentials for power generation.

The national grid on Monday generated about 2,937 Mega Watts (MW) which is considered abysmally low to feed about 170 million population of the country.

The Executive Secretary of the French-Based REN21, Christine Lins, in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, disclosed that the nation would not achieve its objectives of electrifying 75 per cent of the population by 2020, if the massive potentials in renewable energy were not tapped.

Lins said: "The country's renewable energy potential remains still untapped. Given the abundance of natural resources in the region, there is huge potential for renewable electricity scale-up; both grid-based and distributed renewable energy. The current target is to have 75 per cent of the population electrified by 2020. Meeting this target will require the widespread uptake of renewables.

The renewable energy expert said Nigeria was the regional leader in hydropower capacity with just under two Giga Watts installed and an estimated small-scale hydro 414 Mega Watts. Total installed solar PV capacity 20 MW as at 2014.

 

Lins however, stressed that long-term policies should be developed to ensure uptake of renewables if the objective of 75 per cent electrification is to be met.

Given its size, population and GDP, she said Nigeria has the resources to be an African leader, but it should build further on the existing mechanism to buoy investment into the sector.

She noted that the nation currently has feed-in-tariffs that supports the development of wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, and biodiesel, with payments guaranteed to 2016 and beyond.

The nation's targets for renewable power capacity includes: Bio-power: 50 MW by 2015; 400 MW by 2025; Hydro-power (small scale): 600 MW by 2015; two GW by 2025 (Nigeria's target excludes hydropower plants >30 MW); Solar PV (large scale, >1MW) 75 MW by 2015; 500 MW by 2025; Wind Power 20 MW by 2015; 40 MW by 2025; CSP 1MW by 2015; 5 MW by 2025.

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