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Power generation inches closer to 5,000MW


• Water management contributes to increment
Nigeria’s power generation inches closer to the 5,000 Megawatts (MW) mark, following the cessation of hostilities by militants in the Niger Delta, and the rise in water level at the various dams in the country.

Daily power generation report released by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) yesterday, showed that power generation has tremendously improved from the 3,500 MW recorded last week to 4,518MW.

Despite the increase in output, electricity supply is still very poor in many areas in Lagos, and other parts of the country. Many homes and businesses, particularly those under the Ikeja distribution zone, said supply had been very poor in the last couple of weeks, even as the bills remain very high.

But the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), said the rise in water level on account of the recent downpours contributed to the improvement in generation, while gas remained the biggest constraint to regular electricity in the country, which is put at 1,765MW as at April 20th.

According to the report, with installed capacity of 11,100MW, the country’s power sector has only been able to attain the 5,500MW in January 2017, and had remained stagnant after that feat.

Corroborating the TCN daily generation report, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its energy supply data released at the weekend for first quarter (Q1) of 2017, showed a total average generation of 3,687MW by the power stations.

Afam VI Power Plant contributed about 12.64 per cent share of the average energy generated, which represents the highest generation among the 23 power plants within the period under review.

According to the agency, daily energy generation attained a peak of 5,846MW on January 24th, and daily energy sent out on same date was 5,747MW.

Similarly, the highest daily energy generated per hour attained a peak of 140,316MWh on the same day, and daily energy sent out per hour was 137,920MWh.

This, it noted, represents the highest level of energy generated and sent out in January, and in Q1 2017.

However, the report put the lowest daily energy generation at 1,660MW, in January, while the lowest daily energy generation per hour was 39,837MWh, with 38,831 MWh sent out.

In February, the report said the daily energy generation peak was attained on the 21st with 4,279MW, while 4,217 MW was sent out on same date. Similarly, 102,705MWh was the highest daily energy generated per hour and 101,208MWh sent out per hour in the same month.
On the other hand, the lowest daily generation of 2,915MW was witnessed on February 1st, and 2,869MW sent out, just as the lowest daily energy generation per hour was 69,962MWh and 68,847MWh sent out.

Output rose again in March, with a peak of 4,156.03MW attained on the 9th, while 4,096 MW was sent out. The highest daily generation per hour attained a peak of 99,732 MWh, while daily energy sent out per hour was 98,300 MWh.

“The lowest daily energy generation attained in March 2017 was 3,496 MW and the lowest daily energy sent out of 3,441 MW was attained on 16th March, 2017. Likewise, the lowest daily energy generation per hour was also attained on same date. 83,790 MWh was generated and 82,580 MWh was sent out,” the NBS said.

On the way forward, Prof. Ajanaku Kolawole Oluseyi, of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, encouraged Nigeria to strive for a well rounded energy mix, combining the available renewable energy with the non-renewable fossil fuel.

Oluseyi, in a paper titled: “Nigeria’s Energy Challenge and Power Development: The Way Forward,” urged government needs to develop the infrastructure for harvesting wind for power generation.

He also called for the trapping of the abundant solar energy freely available in the nation; increasing the capacities of the present hydro-power stations, and also establishing various power stations that will use the natural gas from crude oil exploitation to drive turbines for electricity generation.

“All the energy thus generated should be fed into the national grid, creating adequate mix of energy from the different sources and having a compact energy development process which will be suitable, sustainable, constantly available, environmentally friendly and economically viable in the long term national energy plan,” he added.

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