…As power generation drops to 2630MW
By Adewale Sanyaolu and Magnus Eze
The Federal Government has concluded arrangement to generate at least 2000 megawatts of solar energy, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said.
Onu, who addressed a World press conference on the outcome of his recent tour to the 7th General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in Abu Dabi, United Arab Emirate and Ethiopia, said out of the 2000 megawatts to be generated this year, 1000 will be off grid while the other 1000mw will be on grid.
He disclosed that the world for the first time spent about $300 billion in 2016 to promote renewable energy, while countries were also increasing percentage of contributions to their energy mix. IRENA is an inter-governmental organization involving many countries from all the continents that emphasise the importance of renewable energy. Aside ensuring the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, IRENA is also promoting the use of bio-energy, ocean, solar, Geo-thermal, hydro power energy.
While stressing the importance of renewable energy to Nigeria’s quest for sustainable energy the minister said it had become necessary to join the rest of the world because renewable energy was the only sustainable way to ensuring accessible energy and energy security globally.
“Basically, what is happening now is that the world wants to reserve our environment and hand over our planet to our children and future generations in a manner that they would find this planet habitable,” Onu stated.
Meanwhile, Power supply across country tumbled in the last three weeks, with some parts of Lagos living in total darkness for two weeks over poor power generation and transmission hitches.
Latest generation statistics from the Electricity System Operators website, a sub agency of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) indicated that power generation dropped from 2,662MW on January 22 to 2,630.30MW on January 23.This translates to a loss of 32 MW in one day.
Prior to the latest drop, generation was 3,959 as at January 4, 2017.
Daily Sun investigations across major parts of Lagos indicated that the situation has gone from bad to worse, with some households getting supply for less than an hour.
In Lagos Mainland, precisely Ijeshatedo, some residents who spoke to Daily Sun, confirmed that they have not enjoyed regular power supply since the beginning of 2017, a claim that was corroborated by the Mile 2, Okota, Ajegunle and Ejigbo communities.
In New Oko-Oba, which is under the network of Ikeja Electric, residents of Ololade, Temple Udeh, Soyinka Jonathan Coker and Akinbowale streets, lamented that for over two weeks, power supply has eluded the area.
A community leader, Mr. Sunday Oluniyi, said the insensitive treatment by officials of Ikeja Electric towards customers on its network was unbecoming of the company, stressing that being without power supply without any form of communication by the service providers is regrettable.
More worrisome is the fact that power generation has continued to dip further with generation currently at 3,321MW as at January 22, 2017 as against 3,443.7MW generated on January 12,2017.
TCN haad said on Saturday that a fire incident which occurred at its Afam VI power station in Rivers State had completely destroyed the firm’s protection and control equipment.
The General Manager, Public Affairs of TCN, Mrs. Seun Olagunju, explained in a statement that the fire incident occurred on Wednesday and that the equipment destroyed were located in TCN’s relay and control room.
Olagunju explained that the major cause of the current low power generation was not the fire incident but the vandalism of gas pipelines that resulted in short supply of gas to the thermal power generating stations.
She pledged that TCN would continue to work towards expanding the nation’s transmission grid in line with its expansion plans.