The Federal Government should use energy mix, such as solar, biomass, and coal, to generate electricity to meet the people’s energy needs, a former Special Assistant on Renewable Energy to the former Minister of Power, Dr Albert Okorogu, has said.
In an interview, he said the government was relying on gas and hydro power, the two major on-grid means of generating electricity, to the detriment of solar, biomass, coal, and others, which could be wheeled on or off-grid.
He said energy mix is what the country needs to provide sufficient and sustainable electricity for its people.
Okorogu said: “While stakeholders, including the Federal Government, are providing on-grid electricity for the people that are living in the urban areas, they should endeavour to make off-grid electricity available to the rural areas, since they consume less power. Globally, industrial areas consume more energy than those in the rural areas. This is the reason stakeholders are advocating for increased investment in solar and other renewable energies in the hinterlands.
“There exists abundant resources for provision of on-grid and off-grid electricity. Are we to talk of natural gas for domestic consumption and export? Are we to talk of water, solar, biomass, coal, which are natural endowments? They are too many to mention.”
He said the country has enough gas for power generation and domestic purposes apart from the huge earnings, derived from exporting gas. According to him, countries, such as China and South Africa, generate huge volume of electricity because they combine various sources of providing power together.
He said South Africa produces 40,000 megawatts (Mw) for its less than 50million population, while power generation is higher than that of China’s. The development, Okorogu said, had resulted in stable electricity in the two countries, urging Nigeria to toe similar path.
He said the country’s generation has hovered between 3,000MW and 5,000MW for more than two decades, stressing that the country would have produced more megawatts if it had adopted energy mix to generate electricity early enough.
Source: The Nation