Industry experts at a recent Siemens Customer Forum have revealed that Nigeria is not yet mature enough for digitalised networks in her power system owing to investment challenges.
Speaking in Lagos during an energy management solutions for transmission and distribution customers, they said digitalisation is critical for any country, but the nation lacked the plan to enable it advance that far since there are no investments made in that direction.
The experts maintained that without a digitalised network, problems won’t be detected properly in the distribution value chain, and this would always give a command for interruption and then endless break in the power supply network.
They stated that the network in Nigeria hasn’t been fully enabled to allow for digital communication; hence the inability to send and receive information on the power system requires deployment of certain devices across the entire distribution infrastructure. “And we do not have that in place.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Siemens Nigeria, Onyeche Tifase remarked that Nigeria is still at a face where mechanical or basic automated solutions are used. “We really need to have a network that is completely fully enabled to send and receive information, but that is not available across the full grid.”
Meanwhile, Digital Grid Automation Products Manager, Siemens India, Ashvini Kumar Tiwari, was optimistic about the country attaining a digitalised system in a space of time.
Likening the Nigerian and Indian networks, he said India faced Nigeria’s current power problems too, but utilities and industries need to come out with an investment plan to factor in an intelligent system just like India did. “And I am sure the same success outcome would be recorded.”
Tiwari said: “investments in power generation, transmission and distribution is a huge one already, but it won’t make sense if nothing is invested to protect that structure, it is system advancement and its investment is lesser.”
He also observed that “if the network is digilised, problems within the distribution chain would be sensed accurately and the devices would give direct command of what is required,” he added.
Meanwhile, Tifase regretted that the issue of cash flow in the country’s power system has hindered the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) from important investments as stated in their five-year strategic plan.
“Siemens is however dialoguing with the Discos, and we have presently invested in two of them to enhance the transparency of grid. We are therefore doing power studies of their networks to provide an outlook that could last between five to 15 years,” she added.