Environmentalist Calls for Decentralisation of Electricity Supply


With activities of the militants and the Niger Delta Avengers cutting off gas supply to power stations and subjecting the country to near total darkness due to epileptic electricity supply, Nigerians are beginning to plead with the authorities and private individuals to look for alternative ways of mitigating the electricity challenge in the country.


Nigeria, which currently bases its source of electricity supply on hydro power, has all the potentials for generating power supply from other various sources.


Meanwhile, energy experts have argued that the amount of sunlight in the country is enough to supply solar power to almost all the households in the country. With the high wind rage in the Northern part of the country, the windmill which has recorded tremendous success in other developed economy with advanced technology has also been suggested as an alternative.


Renewable energy is said to be obtained from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. With the country blessed with an appreciable amount of these various sources of renewable energy, many are beginning to wonder why the authorities have not deemed it fit to look the way of these other sources, and why they are stuck to the hydro power supply.


In an exclusive interview with Independent, a former United Nations Development Project (UNDP) adviser and climatology expert, Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, advised that it is high time government begins to consider the solar energy, which is said to be in bountiful measure in the country but which has also been long neglected by the authorities.


According to Prof. Oladipo, solar energy is a very good alternative answer to the power challenge in the country. And though it may be costly at the initial stage, it will definitely pay off in the long run. Granted, people have complained about the issue of space, as those with space constraints have concluded it might not be for them. However, Oladipo explained that it should be installed on the roof of the houses, thereby taking up no space, except the space already occupied by the house.


Oladipo is of the opinion that power supply should be decentralized, rather than generating from one source and distributing.


“I give you an example, the Redeemed Christian Church of God camp is generating its own power, which means they sourced their own turbine, bring in gas, generate and distribute to people living in the camp. So, similar things can be done, you find a place where you can have one or two turbines, bring in gas and generate to people who can afford to pay.


“It will reduce the kind of loss we are always encountering, rather than generating from Kainji and trying to distribute to Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Lagos. We lose a lot on the way.  Secondly, such degeneration will not make it possible for anybody to just wake up and blow up the pipeline, throwing the entire country into darkness.”


He opined that if the authorities decentralize power supply, they can encourage people who have the capacity to generate solar and distribute to people who can afford to pay nearby.


This decentralization, according to the environmentalist, will reduce the pressure on Kainji, Egbin and other centralized sources.


He suggests that it will also bring down power generation to the local level, such that it doesn’t go to the creeks. In countries like Germany, he remarked, people generate solar power and sell to the government, who in turn sell to the people.


“Those are the type of developments we are supposed to be seeing in the country. Let’s decentralize these things, in fact the governance of Nigeria should be decentralized for it to be more efficient.

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