With low generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, currently hovering at about 4,000 megawatts, MW, the Federal Government and investors have not yet been able to provide adequate power to Nigerians who needs over 10,000 mw daily supply.
Investigations showed that the nation’s power dilemma is fuelled by issues such as: inadequate investment, poor facilities, irregular maintenance, lack of funds, limited gas supply, lack of prepaid metres, ‘crazy bills’, vandalism, illegal connection and foreign exchange issues.
The challenges have culminated in many issues, especially too frequent system collapse incidents that have at different times thrown almost the entire nation into complete darkness. For instance, last September, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN indicated that: ‘’Reports obtained from Stations and the sequence of events generated by the SCADA system indicated that the system collapse was triggered by the tripping of Egbin Units ST4, ST6 and ST5 at ‘20:03:15, 20:03:32 and 20:03:34’ respectively.
‘’By this incident, the Nigerian electric power grid lost generation completely before restoration commenced at 20:22Hrs. A post mortem analysis of the event indicated that grid generation was curtailed (to about 4,262.7MW) prior to the inception of the disturbance due to capacity underutilization and the operational capability required to maintain grid stability had waned, leaving the system vulnerable to the extent that perturbations of this magnitude resulted in severe system frequency dip that culminated in system collapse. The analysis clearly indicated that there was insufficient level of spinning reserve provided by grid-connected generation companies arising from low tariffs for providing ancillary services.
‘’In order to avert such incidence on a sustainable basis, the Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc has filed an application to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for an extraordinary tariff review as a means of ensuring that generation companies are incentivized to provide sufficient spinning reserves and other ancillary services that are critical for managing the national grid.
‘’The Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc hereby solicits for the understanding of all Nigerians as we continue with our efforts to provide the electricity industry with a world class national grid. On our part, we will strive to ensure that the stride attained recently in frequency control is sustained in line with world industry standards and codes.’’
A few days ago, it also disclosed that: ‘’Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) regrets to report another System Collapse at about 14.19Hours today 3rd January, 2018. Preliminary information from NCC indicated that the tripping of Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene 330kV line, cut off generation from Odukpani Power Station to the grid. Restoration of the grid has reached advanced stage. TCN has also commenced investigations to determine the exact cause of the system disturbance and the outcome will publicised.
‘’The system disturbance happened at a time when work on the Western Gas Pipeline by NGC which caused system collapse at about 21.17Hours yesterday, is yet to be completed. The grid would have withstood the Odukpani infraction, if generation along Lagos Region were available.
‘’NGC indicated that a contractor has been mobilised to reconstruct the affected segment of the Western Gas Pipeline, so that gas supply to Omotosho, Egbin, and Olorunsogo I and II can be restored. According to NGC the work would be carried out day and night and is expected to be completed within 24 hours.
‘’TCN noted that with the support of the Federal Ministries of Power and Finance, it has embarked on the implementation of Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program that seeks to expand, rehabilitate and stabilize the Grid. TCN appealed for patience and understanding.’’
However, hope is not completely lost as Shell has delved into a research-based initiative targeted at charting a new course, barely a few months after the completion of its ‘Future Energy Survey’ which revealed that more than four in five Nigerians are interested in the topic of Nigeria’s Energy Future.
In its latest report obtained by The Daily, www.thedaily-ng.com , the company stated that: ‘’more than four out of five Nigerian respondents are interested in the topic of energy, with reliable electricity ranking alongside employment and job security as their most important issue of concern.
‘’The survey, conducted by the global market research company Ipsos on behalf of Shell International, interviewed more than 2,000 Nigerians from a range of urban and rural backgrounds across the country. It included the following key findings: For 75% of Nigerians, reliable electricity is considered one of the most important issues facing society today, ranking alongside employment and followed closely by the education system and access to healthcare. 56% see collaboration between government, industry and society as key to building future energy solutions. The majority of Nigerians admit they are not doing enough personally to address future energy needs, with only 32% conserving energy by switching off electrical appliances when not in use.
‘’The survey also includes insights on Nigerians’ current energy usage patterns. For example, 45% of respondents use the bus as their principal means of transport and only 20% own a car, motorbike or other form of motorized vehicle.’’
Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, commented, “It is encouraging that many respondents in Nigeria view future energy needs as high priority and are increasingly aware of the need for collaboration. In order to meet our country’s pressing energy needs, our collective focus has to be on increasing access to electricity, with a key role for natural gas.”
Mr. David Somers, CEO Ipsos Pan-Africa added that: “in surveys conducted across the world we see the future of energy featuring prominently as a major public concern. In that respect Nigeria is on a par with countries as diverse as New Zealand, Korea and Singapore. What is particularly interesting about the Nigerian results is the extent to which the future of energy is seen as synonymous with access to electricity. Reliable electricity is amongst the most important public issues for Nigerians.”
Basis for future energy
The company indicated that the initiative becomes expedient as the world will need much more energy to power homes and fuel transport for a growing population with rising living standards.
It disclosed that to counter climate change, energy must increasingly come from lower-carbon sources, adding that its know-how, technology and innovations are helping to deliver more, cleaner energy.
‘’Lives and livelihoods, economies and communities depend on convenient, reliable and affordable energy to prosper and grow. People today have never been more connected. More and more of us are enjoying better opportunities, better health and a higher standard of living.
‘’Most of the energy we use today comes from oil and coal, and increasingly from natural gas. These hydrocarbons power, heat and cool homes and workplaces, and fuel transport systems that take us to work or school, or bring us to a holiday destination. They enable industries that sustain our lives, and provide the chemical ingredients to make most of the products we buy – like the device you are using to read this page.’’
The company disclosed that global demand for energy is rising, driven by growing population with rising living standards.
‘’By 2050 the number of people on the planet is forecast to grow to 9 billion – that’s nearly 2 billion more of us than today. Many people in emerging economies will join the global middle class. They will buy refrigerators, computers and other appliances that consume energy. And many will buy cars, more than doubling the number on the road.
‘’Our cities increasingly provide the heartbeat of our economy. Around three-quarters of the world’s population will live in cities by mid-century, putting more pressure on the food, water and energy resources essential for our shared wellbeing and prosperity.’’