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IMPROVED AVAILABILITY OF CLEAN NON GRID ENERGY IN NIGERIA THROUGH THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRINCIPLES Prof Titilayo A. Kuku, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. +2348062541929,

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Prof Titilayo A. Kuku,

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering,

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,

Nigeria. +2348062541929,,

talk layout
Talk Layout
  • Introduction
  • Energy Resources
  • Problems Associated with Poor Energy State in Nigeria
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy Resources in Nigeria
  • Various Aspects of Renewable Energies (Solar, Wind, Hydro and Biomass Electricity)
  • Energy Demand and Supply Projections
  • Renewable Energy Policies
  • Obstacles to Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency Development in Nigeria
  • Socio-Economic Impacts of the Deployment of renewable Electricity
  • Conclusion
  • Energy is an essential ingredient for the development and economic growth of any country. Energy access is also key to poverty alleviation and has been shown to facilitate other development indicators. The United Nations has emphasised that access to affordable, modern energy services is essential for the attainment of sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s).
  • That Nigeria is currently facing an energy crisis is an understatement. With the current generated capacity of about 4,000MW, for a population of about 170 million, with an energy per capita of 30 Watts, the country is in a dire state regarding energy sufficiency with the attendant consequences on all developmental indicators of employment, growth, production, cost of production, security, general wellbeing e.t.c.
introduction ctd
Introduction Ctd
  • This unfortunate situation has brought to the fore, the need to explore alternatives to close the wide gap between demand for and supply of energy services in Nigeria.
  • Energy poverty in Nigeria is acute with only 47% of the populace having access to epileptic electricity and about 10% of the population not connected to the grid.
  • Majority of the people in the rural area do not have access to electricity resulting in most of them using traditional biomass as source of energy.
  • Even in urban areas of Nigeria, 56% of the population still use firewood while 27% use kerosene as household energy.
problems associated with current poor energy state in nigeria
Problems Associated with Current Poor Energy State in Nigeria
  • Lack of and inadequate investment in the energy sector by successive government in the past
  • The monopolistic nature of power generation and delivery which has effectively shut out private capital and investment
  • Low level awareness of alternative options such as renewable energy solutions
  • Dearth of finance and access to finance for rural poor
  • Apathy of financial institutions to support investments in clean energy options
  • Low incentives and inadequate government policies to promote the development of renewable energy at the same level as electricity and petroleum/gas
  • Continuous subsidy of conventional fossil fuel by government
problems ctd
Problems Ctd
  • Poor business environment for renewable energy options.
  • Shift from traditional to modern sources of energy and upgrade the unsustainable supply of biomass (mainly wood) energy to a sustainable provision of wood energy  Meet the demand for energy as a result of industrialization and population increase
  • Develop/improve energy efficiency practices
  • Deemphasize investment in large hydro and increase investment in sustainable, decentralized renewable sources

Promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Nigeria will address the challenges highlighted above.

  • Renewable energies are cleaner sources of energy, and therefore are sustainable form of energy.
  • Renewable energies can continuously be harvested because they are inexhaustible in supply and have been considered by most developing countries as an essential component of extending access to affordable energy.
  • Small-scale distributed renewable energy systems can help to alleviate energy poverty in many communities cut off from centralized grid electricity.
  • It will help to reduce the importation of oil bringing benefit to local and national economies.
renewable energy and energy efficiency
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency have been recognised as the twin pillars of energy security especially in our quest to address the poor state of energy supply.
  • While renewable energy focuses on generating energy from natural, renewable and sustainable sources such as solar, small hydro, wind and biomass,
  • energy efficiency on the other hand aims at achieving the efficient utilisation of the available energy supply through energy efficient methods and technologies.
  • It is generally agreed that ’’energy saved is energy generated’’, so avoiding wastages in energy usage translates immediately into energy generation.
renewable energy resources in nigeria
Renewable Energy Resources In Nigeria
  • Nigeria is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources that can be deployed for electricity provision.
  • This paper will focus on the most important ones and these include: solar, wind, small/large hydro and biomass.
  • Table 1 gives an outline of the resource potentials of renewable energy sources in Nigeria.
Table 1Renewable Energy Potentials in Nigeria


solar electricity
Solar Electricity
  • Nigeria lies within a high sunshine belt and thus has enormous solar energy potentials. The mean an­nual average of total solar radiation varies from about 3.5 kWhm–2day-1 in the coastal latitudes to about 7 kWhm–2day-1 along the semi arid areas in the far North.
  • Given an average solar radiation level of about 5.5 kWhm–2day-1, and the prevailing efficiencies of commercial solar-electric generators, then if solar collectors or modules were used to cover 1% of Nige­ria’s land area of 923,773km2, it is possible to generate 1850x103GWh of solar electricity per year. This is over one hundred times the current grid electricity consumption level in the country.
  • Solar electricity can be generated from any of two possibilities, either through the interface of thermal converting systems (photothermal) or the interface with solar cells (photovoltaics). The photovoltaic aspect would be stressed in this paper because of its relative simplicity for adoption in rural regions of Nigeria.

Solar electricity may be used for power supply to remote villages and locations not connected to the national grid.

  • It may also be used to generate power for feeding into the national grid.
  • Other areas of ap­plication of solar electricity include low and medium power application such as: water pumping, village electrification, rural clinic and schools power supply, vaccine refrigeration, traffic lighting and lighting of road signs, etc.
  • Several pilot projects, surveys and studies have been undertaken by the Sokoto Energy Research Center (SERC) and the National Center for Energy Research and Development (NCERD) under the supervision of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN).
  • Several PV-water pumping, electrification, and solar-thermal instal­lations have been put in place.
  • Model villages that run on sustainable photovoltaic energy have also been developed across the nation.
  • Over the past 13 years, the Energy Commission of Nigeria, World Bank, some states governments of Bauchi, Benue, Bayelsa, Akwa- Ibom, Delta, Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Zamfara, Rivers, and Nassarawa, the Education Tax Fund, and some few other organizations like United States Department of Energy and Jigawa Alternative Energy Trust Fund have sponsored the installation of many pilot solar energy systems for use to various communities across the country.

For these deployments one, two or more modules can be situated on a structure for it to provide the necessary electrical energy for the running of the basic lightning needs of the village household.

  • Such systems are referred to as stand alone systems.
  • Alternatively, a collection of modules (an array) can be assembled to give a higher energy supply as a common source for the village as shown in Fig 1.
  • Such a collection could be taken to be a micro grid system.
  • The micro grid design is ultra energy efficient, it uses renewable power generation house which consist of solar panels, thus, four to five panels are sufficient to power an entire village of 100 households and then use battery bank to generate power during the day which is consumed at night, the light is distributed using poles, these poles usually each carry a street light on it which pass through a village over a short distance then to household, each household is provided with two to four Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights as these villagers choose solar power for their electric systems.
  • Apart from the small non grid systems, there are big developments of solar energy farms like the 50MW solar farm in Kaduna State (Federal Ministry of Environment).
  • In aggregate, there are about 10MW Street Lighting and Mini-Grid projects nationwide (source - ECN).
wind electricity
Wind Electricity
  • Wind, which is an effect from the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun and its resultant pressure inequalities, is available at annual average speeds of about 2.0 m/s at the coastal region and 4.0 m/s at the far northern region of the country. Assuming an air density of 1.1 kg/m3, wind energy intensity, perpendicular to the wind direction, ranges between 4.4 W/ m2 at the coastal areas and 35.2 W/ m2 at the far northern region.
  • Wind energy conversion systems (wind turbines, wind generators, wind plants, wind machines, and wind dynamos) are devices which convert the kinetic energy of the moving air to rotary motion of a shaft, that is, mechanical energy.
  • The technologies for harnessing this energy have, over the years been tried in the northern parts of the country, mainly for water pumping from open wells in many secondary schools of old Sokoto and Kano States as well as in Katsina, Bauchi and Plateau States. A 5 kW wind electricity conversion system for village electrification has been installed at SayyanGidanGada, in Sokoto State. Other areas of potential application of wind energy conversion systems in Nigeria are in “green electric­ity” production for the rural community and for integration into the national grid system.

It has been reported that an average annual wind speed of not less than 5 m/s at a height of 10m above ground level is the feasible speed for the exploitation of wind energy at today’s cost.

  • Tractors and Equipment (T & E), a Division of the United African Company (UAC), at one time, produced windmills in Nigeria.
  • Promising attempts are being made in Sokoto Energy Research Centre (SERC) and AbubakarTafawaBalewa University, Bauchi, to develop capability for the production of wind energy technologies. Picture of typical deployments of wind energy are as shown as follows:
  • Hydroelectricity refers to the capture of energy from flowing water, typically rivers, streams and water falls to generate electricity.
  • In Nigeria, where rivers, waterfalls and streams with high potentials for small hydro power (SHP) development is abundant, harnessing of these hydro-resources leads to decentralized use and local implementation and manage­ment, thereby making sustainable rural development possible through self-reliance and the use of local natural resources. This can be the most affordable and accessible option to provide off-grid electricity services.
  • Based on Nigeria’s level of hydropower development, small hydropower station is defined as follows: Small = installed capacity of between 2 MW and 10 MW; Mini ≤ 2 MW ; Micro ≤100 kW .

In recent studies carried out in twelve states and four river basins, over 278 unexploited SHP sites with total potentials of 734.3 MW were identified.

  • However, SHP potential sites exist in virtually all parts of Nigeria with an estimated capacity of 3,500 MW.
  • With the exploitation of these, a number of homes in the rural settings can be sustainably provided with electricity.
  • It may be noted however that big hydro power plants currently provide about 50 % of the generated power fed into the grid in Nigeria.
electricity from biomass
Electricity from Biomass
  • The term “biomass” encompasses diverse fuels derived from timber, agriculture and food processing wastes or from fuel crops that are specially grown or reserved for electricity generation.
  • Biomass fuel can also include sewage sludge and animal manure. Some biomass fuels are derived from trees. Given the capacity of trees to regenerate, fuels are considered renewable. Burning crop residue, sewage or manure, - all wastes that are communally generated by society to generate electricity may offer environmental benefits.
  • At present, the biomass power plants burn lumber, agricultural or wood wastes.
  • Direct combustion power plants burn the biomass fuel directly in boilers that supply steam for the same kind of steam- electric generators used to burn fossil fuels.
  • With biomass gasification, biomass is converted into a gas – methane, that can then fuel steam generators, combustion turbines, combined cycle technologies or fuel cell.
  • Because biomass technologies use combustion processes to produce electricity, they can generate electricity at any time, unlike wind and most solar technologies, which only produce when wind is blowing or sun is shining.

The availability of biomass resources follows the same pattern as the nation’s vegetation.

  • The rain forest in the south generates the highest quantity of woody biomass while the guinea savannah vegeta­tion of the north central region generates more crop residues than the sudan and sahel savannah zones.
  • Industrial effluent such as sugar cane molasses is located with the processes with which they are as­sociated.
  • Municipal wastes are generated in the high-density urban areas.
  • In the agrarian areas however, a lot of agricultural wastes abound.
  • There is no existing biomass fired power plant in Nigeria and so no local experience.
  • However, there is considerable experience in biogas generation and utilization of fine particle biomass.
  • Opportunities also exist for briquetting of saw dust and other fine particle biomass. These however can be adequately applied for small scale biomass electricity generation at the communal level using small conversion engines.

Three major scenarios were considered

Reference Growth Scenario:

- GDP growth of 7% p.a

  • Manufacturing as the main growth
  • driver and to account for 15% GDP
  • by 2030 from 6% in the base year.
  • Per capita electricity consumption to
  • rise to 4,000 kWh/annum from less
  • than 200kWh/annum

Optimistic Growth Scenario:

- GDP growth of 11.5% p.a

  • Manufacturing to contribute 25% of
  • GDP
  • Per capita electricity consumption to
  • rise to about 6,000 kWh/p.a.

High Growth Scenario:

- GDP growth of 10% p.a

  • Manufacturing to contribute 22% of
  • GDP by 2030
  • - Per capita electricity consumption to
  • rise to about 5,000 kWh/annum.

Energy Demand and Supply Projections The Energy Commission of Nigeria recently worked on the energy demand and supply projections in Nigeria. Their assessment followed the following scenarios:


With the above, the following demand projections were obtained for the short, medium and long time considerations using the different growth rates of 7.5, 10 and 11.5 % considered.Table.1 Electricity peak demand projection for Nigeria


Table 2. Projected Access to Grid Electricity by Household for Nigeria(Note that electricity can be from fossil, nuclear or renewable energy source)

Table 3. Contribution of Renewables into the projected Electricity Demand For the High Growth Scenario
renewable energy policies
Renewable Energy Policies
  • In 2003, the National Energy Policy (NEP), produced under the arrowhead of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
  • The policy articulates for the use of all viable energy sources for sustainable national development and with the active participation of the private sector in line with government’s economic policy.
  • Renewable energy is one of the energy types articulated in the policy.
  • The policy also covers energy efficiency and conservation, amongst many other issues.

The NEP, and indeed the renewable energy component, has amongst other things, five broad objectives:

  • Expanding access to energy services and raising the standard of living, especially in the rural areas,
  • Stimulating economic growth, employment and empowerment,
  • Increasing the scope and quality of rural services, including schools, health services, water supply, information, entertainment and stemming the migration to urban areas,
  • Reducing environmental degradation and health risks, particularly to vulnerable groups such as women and children,
  • Improving learning, capacity building and R & D on various RE technologies in the country,
  • Providing a road map for achieving the RE share of the national energy supply mix.

In 2005, the draft roadmap for the implementation of the renewable component of the NEP, referred to as the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), was produced under the arrowhead of Energy Commission of Nigeria and financially supported by the UNDP. In 2006, a renewable electricity policy was developed for Federal Ministry of Power by ICEED

  • In 2007, a biofuel policy and incentives which articulates for the use of E10 and B20 as automotive fuel was developed by the NNPC and approved by FEC. It is now under review
  • In March, 2013, the REMP was reviewed as REMP 2, for the further articulation of the renewable aspect of NEP.
  • In its vision to fast economic growth and development, Nigeria has envisioned to grow its economy at a rate of 11%-13% so that it can be reckoned among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

Energy demand and supply studies conducted by the Energy Commission of Nigeria, taking into consideration the economic vision, demography, available energy resources and modern developmental path, using MAED and MESSAGE energy planning models of IAEA has indicated that huge amount of energy in the form of electricity, fuels and heat would be required to meet this vision.

  • It may be recalled that for sustainable development, renewable energy sources are preferable for the supply of the final energies for development; albeit fossil fuels will continue to play significant role in driving the economy of Nigeria.
  • The questions however are: What contribution would renewable energy make in meeting the huge energy requirement of the nation in the short, medium and long terms? Secondly, what issues and incentives need to be put in place in order to facilitate the attainment of the required contribution by renewable energy?
  • TheREMP attempts to provide answers to these questions.
obstacles to renewable energy and energy efficiency development in nigeria
  • Many African countries have formulated energy polices, the policies are too often consultant driven and lack inputs from the wider civil society and many policies in the past have passed their implementation life in the shelves of senior government officials.
  • New policies should address all issues such as trade, production, distribution, consumption, investment in renewable energy and end-use and demand-side energy efficiency.
  • There is need for a paradigm shift in energy development.

Policy consideration in Nigeria should involve:

  • putting in place market and fiscal policies that promote renewable energy
  • promote open energy markets to remove legislative and commercial barriers to entry and promote transparent competition in supply
  • Promote non-electricity producing renewables. Cooking is the main energy need of the poor and this will not change even when electricity becomes available. Promotion of improved cook stoves, small scale biogas for cooking, solar thermal technologies for sterilisation in health centres, etc. should be considered alongside electricity producing technologies, if not in priority.
  • Focus on energy end-uses. Energy policy and programmes in developing countries focus only on the provision of energy (usually electricity) to a certain number of households. One has to go beyond this paradigm and look at who uses energy and for what purpose. Linking energy access to productive and social uses of energy is a prerequisite to ensure that energy has a true impact on the socio-economic development of developing countries and really contributes to the achievement of the MDGs. For decentralised energy systems, a minimum load has to be ensured in order to guaranty proper use and maintenance of the system. Residential use alone is usually not enough to ensure this minimum load is achieved.
  • Before involving the private sector to provide energy services, strong polices, legislation and institutions should be put in place to regulate their activities.

EE Lamp

Use of energy saving devices/energy efficiencyConservation of energy is achieved with the use of energy saving devices. Some of these are as shown here

socio economic impacts of the deployment of renewable energy electricity
Socio-economic impacts of the deployment of renewable energy electricity
  • The processes by which renewable energy sources are deployed have major environmental, cultural and health impacts.
  • Apart from large hydro that requires large areas for deployment, most other renewable energy sources are modular in nature, requiring little space, which can be adequately available with no deforestation, ecosystem destruction, chemical contamination of land and water, long-term harm to animal populations (particularly migratory birds and marine mammals), human health and safety risks for neighboring communities and renewable energy industry workers, and displacement of indigenous community.
  • The application of renewable energy devices are localized, hence have limited (if at all) movement from place to place.
  • Solar PV panels, wind turbines, mini hydo facilities, biomass sources, etc, are fixed at specific and fixed locations, hence they do not generate wastes/contaminants or get involved in any accidents that can affect other areas away from their locations.
  • Therefore, no problem is posed to aquatic or other environments.
  • No illness or other vectors of diseases are also passed on to human and animal life.
  • With this, the economic life of the people where these devices are cited are better secured. No human rights violations are also experienced.
  • There are no emissions resulting from the deployment and usage of renewable energy devices.
  • Consequently, there is little or no negative impact on the environment from the use of renewable energy sources, this therefore limits considerably any contribution to green house gases.
  • Consequently, there are no health risks involved.

Listed above are the direct impacts of renewable energy devices deployment on the environment.

  • There are however a number of indirect social and health effects.
  • Renewable energy services, because of their decentralized nature, size compatibility, and other attributes mentioned above, have been instrumental for contributing towards social integration, education, health, drinking water facility, gender equality, and empowerment, particularly in less accessible and under privileged remote areas of developing countries.
  • However, not all the countries have been able to receive higher level of impact as all of them do not share the same approaches and contexts in which the program is implemented.
  • The following tables (Tables 1) provide a comprehensive picture of the contribution of renewable energy towards social contribution.

In Nigeria however, deployment of Renewable electrification has enhanced the socio-economic situation of the communities electrified, some villages that have been using solar based energy have allowed their communities to feel safe, shop longer and interact with one another during the night.

  • Local vendors and shop keepers are able to conduct business longer and liberate themselves from dangerous kerosene or candles for minimal lighting that usually burn their shops.
  • Homes, schools, and clinics/hospitals have solar systems deployed that power electronics like refrigerators and cell phones.

Energy is very essential for economic growth and development in Nigeria. Nigeria is endowed with sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal and ocean waves in addition to fossil fuel sources. The energy from these renewable sources can be transformed to supplement the final energies, from conventional energy, needed to grow the economy in a sustainable manner in the short and medium term; and to serve as substitute, when petroleum becomes uneconomical to exploit. However, adequate policies, programmes, incentives and legal instruments as well as adequate funding are imperative to support and grow the penetration of these new energy sources into the nation’s energy supply mix. It has been shown in this paper that the provision of these clean energy sources will to a good extent allow adequate provision of energy for Institutions and communities that cannot be connected to the grid.