How Renewable Energy can Propel Nigeria towards Energy Security

Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, faces energy challenges as its fossil fuel dependency, accounting for 90% of energy consumption, contributes to limited electricity access, unreliable power, and high energy costs (World Bank, 2021). This reliance hampers economic growth, affecting businesses and lowering living standards, while also causing environmental issues like air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Acknowledging these challenges, the Nigerian government is initiating measures to address them. Despite these efforts, a comprehensive shift towards sustainable energy is imperative. Nigeria possesses abundant clean energy resources, including solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass, offering a pathway to a more sustainable future.

Solar energy, with its vast potential due to high irradiation, could generate over 200 GWh annually by covering just 1% of Nigeria’s landmass with solar PV. Investments in large-scale solar power plants, rooftop systems, utility-scale farms, and solar microgrids could revolutionize the energy landscape.

Wind energy, with an estimated 10 gigawatts of capacity, especially in coastal and northern regions, presents investment opportunities. Overcoming security challenges and ensuring facility maintenance are critical for tapping into this potential.

Hydropower, constituting 16% of global power supply, has significant untapped potential in Nigeria, with 3500 MW for small and 11,250 MW for large hydropower. Investments in new plants and the rehabilitation of existing ones can contribute significantly to the nation’s power generation.

Biomass, derived from agricultural and municipal waste, offers opportunities through technologies like biogas digesters, gasifiers, and incinerators. This could be a transformative solution, addressing both energy needs and waste management.

The Rural Electrification Agency highlights the potential for $9.2 billion in annual market investments for solar mini-grids, saving households and companies $4.4 billion yearly. Wind energy, particularly in coastal regions, holds promise, provided security issues are effectively managed. Hydropower, with substantial exploitable potential, can significantly contribute to the country’s power supply. Biomass energy, utilizing waste resources, offers diverse investment opportunities, enhancing sustainability.

While the Nigerian government’s initiatives are commendable, sustained efforts and private sector involvement are crucial for a successful transition to a more sustainable energy future. A diversified approach, harnessing the full spectrum of clean energy resources, can propel Nigeria towards energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

Author

  • Samson Adeyemo

    An experienced broadcast and print media journalist with nose for news and proven track records of success without compromising objectivity.

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