EXCLUSIVE : “Renewable energy is a good mix for Nigeria’s power challenges “-Joy Ogaji

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The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, the umbrella body for the Gencos, Dr Joy Ogaji on the sidelines of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, (NAEC) Annual conference in Lagos, Nigeria last week speaks on the challenges faced by the group, the role of Renewable energy and sundry issues:

AYOBAMI ADEDINNI brings the excerpt :

You seemed to feel strongly at the panel on Viability of Gas to Power Value Chain. Could you give a summary of what you said?
As I said, over 80 per cent of power generated in Nigeria come through Thermal power which uses gas which makes it critical to us as generating Stakeholders.
To that extent, I believe that we need to make that subsector very viable for us to enjoy that power because of you check, I know the government has not revised Vision 2020 yet but according to the plan, we are supposed to have generated 40,000MW of power.
So, there’s an obvious mismatch between what we plan to have and what we have on ground.
So, we need to optimize what we currently have.
We have 13,427MW installed out of which we have 7,500 available but the bad story is that out of that, only 3,500 is utilized.
If we have a dream of getting to 40,000MW, shouldn’t we optimize what’s available before we look for more?
That’s why you think I feel strongly about it. We should focus on utilization.
It’s like a child that we want to run a marathon when he has not even started crawling.
That’s exactly the situation of the power sector.
In essence, the gas to power value chain is a demand for gas by Nigerians according to the System Operator of TCN.
How then do we utilize all that we have? Because if I can utilize all that I have, I have an incentive to grow my my capacity.
But if what I’m producing is not used, what gives me the fortitude to go ahead?
One of the major challenges in the power sector is the lack of strong political will.
Secondly, we lack leadership and coordination in the power value chain.
The Ministry of Power is on its own while we have 80 per cent of our power from another ministry wich does not what is going on. There needs to be synergy.
It could be by the president forming an interministerial committee on power.
And every quarter, they review issues.Otherwise, we’ll continue to have the issues.
Why are DISCOs not taking power? We need to scrutinize it and know the root cause.
Why are Nigerians not paying if truly they’re not paying? There are so many loose ends

What’s the role of the Renewable energy in this?

Renewable energy is a good mix.

When you look at the map of Nigeria, the South South and South East have heavy deposit of gas.
We should focus on having power plants around those regions because of their deposits so the gas there could be fully utilized.
There are so many power plants there that are not being utilized.
Specifically, the NDPHC has a capacity to generate about 4,000MW but do you know that the system is taking just about 500MW?
But in the North, there’s no gas plant but they have good Solar potential. Hence, we need to plant a lot of solar power plants in that area because of their potential.
We need to sit down and draw the map of Nigeria outside politics because power should not be politicized.
One of the reasons we’re not getting it right is because it is being politicised.
We need to have experts advise decision makers. You can’t give what you don’t have.
Once experts advise decision makers, then they’ll make the right decision.
Look at the AFCTA, Power is the bedrock otherwise other countries will produce, send it to us and we’ll buy but nothing to sell.
Most of the manufacturing companies have moved to Ghana.
Yes, we’ve signed the agreement but power is the solution.

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