In a recent interview, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, said that there is “a strong demand for electricity across the country. We also have gas in the ground across the country; we also have gas fired power stations. Therefore, we must in principle and politically optimize the use of this gas to provide electricity to Nigerians. Of the 14,000 megawatts subcontracted to power generation companies by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), well over 85% is for gas-fired power plants.
“So what are you going to do with these plants if you are considering cutting back on renewables?” And where are we with regard to renewable energies? Again, I know it is government policy to increase renewables over time.
But right now about 85% of the 14,000 MW contracted is supposed to be gas powered and we need to harness that gas, provide electricity to consumers, develop our country, and then start increasing other sources of gas. electricity. It has been stated that our demand for electricity is around 28,000MW, maybe then we can use other renewable energy sources such as solar power, small hydro and wind power for develop the rest of the amount of electricity needed.
In 2019, the World Bank reported that only 55.4% of Nigerians had access to electricity. However, during the Cop26 climate talks in November 2021 in Glasgow, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a net zero target for 2060. Zero emissions means that vehicles and other mobile devices used for transport (land, sea, air , rail) and for other uses (agriculture, mobile electricity production, etc.) will cease to be fueled by fossil fuels believed to be a major contributor to climate change and pollution.
Over the course of its long history, the Earth has warmed and cooled depending on how the planet more or less received sunlight due to subtle changes in its orbit, when the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the sun’s energy varied. Over the past century, however, there are fears that warming may have increased more than ever in history due to human influence. To calm things down, climate activists have advocated deliberate actions to turn the tide of national governments. Today, 192 countries have adopted the Kyoto Protocol which, among many other targets, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2012.
Despite these commitments, only a few of the 10 countries contributing the most to global warming such as China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Canada and Mexico are making serious efforts to minimize their dependence. on fossil fuels. These 10 biggest culprits are responsible for 65.53% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Nigeria is barely recognized on the global emissions map.
In 1976, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, deceased mercurial musician, released the album “Mr. Follow-Follow” in which he advised “If you follow-follow, open your eyes, open ears, open mouths , meaning open; Na dat time, na dat time you’re not going to fall; If you follow the dem book, then inside the closet you are going to quench your thirst. ”So why would Nigeria engage to ban the use of fossil fuels to produce energy in such a short period of time when fossil fuels are its comparative advantage and it must develop its heavy industries to hire its young population?
A review of the 10 best performing countries in the fight against global warming found that all of them already provide electricity to 100 percent of their populations. Countries include Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Malta, Luxembourg, Morocco, Cyprus, UK, Sweden, and France. Only Morocco still provided electricity to only 99.6% of its population.
Nigeria does not currently generate any energy from its 379 million tonnes (MMst) of proven coal reserves in 2016, ranking 44th in the world. Nigeria has proven reserves equivalent to 1,961.4 times its annual consumption. This means that it has approximately 1,961 years of coal reserves left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves). On the contrary, India, backed by China, made a last-minute diplomatic effort during the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow to water down the language of the final deal, moving from calling for “elimination.” gradual ‘from relentlessly coal-fired electricity to a’ phase-out ‘. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted the expansion of coal mining, with plans to increase national coal production from 783 million tonnes in 2019 to one billion tonnes per year as part of his self-sufficiency policy in India .
Nigeria’s electricity generation relies primarily on thermal and hydroelectricity with an installed capacity of approximately 12,522 MW. Meanwhile, only 6000 MW are available! So, rather than being politically correct, Nigeria should instead join forces with other developing countries in Africa and Asia to push for concessions in the transition from fossils to renewables, as the entire African continent contributes less than three percent of total emissions. Much like Indian Prime Minister Mordi, Nigeria is expected to push for a phased down or outright concession to develop coal turbines in addition to gas.
To date, NDPHC, Nigeria’s largest power generation company, faces serious gas supply constraints. Its power generation has been severely constrained by gas constraints, a development that has also resulted in a decline in the electricity supply to households and businesses.
Adejokun writes from Abuja.