Power Sector And Other Related News Stories For Thursday December 8th 2022
NERC Explains Condition for Purchase of Transformers, Meters, Others by Electricity Consumers
The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has explained the condition under which electricity consumers can purchase transformers, meters, poles or any other assets for the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
The power sector regulator said that the consumer has to sign an agreement with the DisCos stating when and how the consumer will be refunded the cost of the transformer or the purchased asset.
This was made known in Abuja by NERC’s Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Aisha Mahmud, at the 3-day NERC/Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Customer Complaint Resolution Meeting, where she insisted that it was not the responsibility of electricity consumers to buy transformers or any other assets for DisCos.
Mahmud said that the agreement should contain dispute resolution clause and all other items that are expected of a standard agreement.
Mahmud stated, “It is not the responsibility of the consumers to buy meters, poles or any assets for the DisCos because we have already provided for that in the tariff of the utilities.
“But under any circumstances that you have to purchase these item and you cannot wait for the DisCos to make that investment, we have made provision for that under our “Investment Regulation.’’
Operators Count Electricity Reform’s Gains
Experts have stated that the country’s power sector has recorded some gains, despite the challenges confronting the sector.
They said this at the just-concluded Nigeria Power Sector Awards in Abuja.
The experts, including investors, consultants and government officials, identified increased generation capacity, establishment of a legal and regulatory framework, service-based tariffs, mini-grid regulations, meter asset provider regulations and the presidential power initiative in collaboration with Siemens as the gains of Nigeria’s electricity reforms.
Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the President on Power and Infrastructure, Ahmed Zakari, said the government has taken bold steps to address issues, which culminated in the sector increasing generation capacity to about 17,000 megawatts, MW, from about 13,000MW.
He said the feat would not have been achieved without much commitment from every stakeholder, stressing that teamwork would be required in moving the sector forward.
Similarly, the former Minister of Power, Prof. Bat Nnaji, said the main idea behind privatisation was to attract investors with technical and financial resources into developing privatised assets.
According to him, the government wanted companies that would have the technical and financial capacity to impact the sector.
Why Nigeria Must Localise Electricity Distribution
Experts in the energy and real estate sectors charged the Federal Government to localise electricity distribution in the country to improve supply and grow the sector.
They made the call at the closing of the 3rd Lagos Real Estate Market Place Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, tagged: “A Town Hall Meeting On The Lagos Real Estate Emerging Markets—Mitigating The Potential Risks.”
Mr Eyo Ekpo, Chief Executive Officer of Extradite Consulting, said the distribution of electricity was a local business and should be treated as such to allow the retail electricity distribution business to thrive.
Ekpo said the distribution of electricity should not be domiciled with the Federal Government but left to the state governments to handle.
“It is an aberration for nine electricity distribution companies only to cover the 35 states in the Federation. No country in the world does so.
“We live in localities, hence electricity must be localised to foster the desired improvement and growth we desire in the sector,” he said.
Nigeria Would Add Only 1 GW by 2027 – IEA
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2022 Renewables Report, Nigeria’s growth in renewable energy will reach 1 gigawatt (GW) by 2027
The analysis estimates that between 2022 and 2027, Nigeria will add 1 GW of renewable energy capacity, less than the predicted growth in South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Angola, and Kenya.The research also mentioned Nigeria’s lack of enabling policies for extensive renewable energy. Additionally, the circumstance prevents the widespread growth of renewable energy.
This problem is mainly hampered by energy access when there are frequent power outages brought on by ageing infrastructure.
By early 2025, renewable energy sources will surpass coal as the primary source of electricity generation worldwide, according to an IEA report. Over the projected period, the share of renewable energy in the power mix is expected to rise by 10%, reaching 38% in 2027.
Similarly, the amount of electricity generated by solar and wind power will quadruple over the next five years, reaching nearly 20% in 2027. Over the predicted period, these variable technologies will boost renewable energy production by 80% globally, necessitating new sources of flexibility for the power grid.
Jack Dorsey Invest in Gridless to Improve Africa’s Electrification
Gridless announced it has secured a $2 million seed investment round, led by Stillmark, a Bitcoin-focused venture capital firm and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc. Gridless said that the “investment will support the company’s further expansion of bitcoin mines across African markets.
”Gridless was created in 2022 in East Africa. According to the business, it uses bitcoin to broaden the geographical distribution of the bitcoin network and speed up industry growth. In addition, the company constructs, plans, and runs Bitcoin mining facilities alongside small-scale renewable energy providers in rural Africa.
“This work can support positive community externalities while also helping to secure the distributed infrastructure behind bitcoin’s monetary ecosystem,” said Thomas Templeton, Block’s lead for Bitcoin mining on the Gridless investment.
The $2 million seed investment was in addition to an angel round led by Factor. Gridless noted that in 2020, more than 50% of people across Africa were without electricity and that “immense demand for reliable, clean, and affordable energy, yet mini-grid energy generators struggle for sustainability.”
Dorsey has called Bitcoin “the open standard for global money transmission” and said that the apex cryptocurrency will allow Block’s “entire business to move faster globally.”
Renewables Providers to Be Paid to Ensure Stable Electricity Supply
Federal and state-level governments have unanimously signed on to develop an energy “capacity mechanism”, a scheme that will pay renewable energy providers to be available to increase electricity supply at a moment’s notice.
The mechanism is designed to fill any gaps in supply by covering generator costs when prices are low and recouping that money when prices are higher.
Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the “capacity investment scheme” would “unleash” $10 billion worth of investment and 6 gigawatts of renewable dispatchable power: that is, energy that can be stored and used at-will.
“It will firm-up our grids, providing extra capacity as more and more power stations leave the power grid. As more and more coal-fired power stations inevitably close, we will firm the grid going forward,” Mr Bowen said.
It means coal and gas generators have been officially cut out of the scheme, despite the Energy Security Board previously supporting their inclusion.
North Carolina Substation Attack Raises Security Concerns for U.S. Electric Grid
The recent attack on two North Carolina substations that cut power to thousands of people has raised concerns about security standards for the country’s electric grid and its numerous power stations, which have faced greater threats in recent years.
Outside of weather, suspected and confirmed physical attacks on electric grid infrastructure have been the largest cause of electrical disturbance events since 2014 when, in response to an attack in California the year before, private companies that run power stations were required to increase security standards, according to an NBC News analysis of public Department of Energy reports.
Nearly 600 electric emergency incidents and disturbances were caused by suspected and confirmed physical attacks and vandalism on the electric grid in those nine years, the reports show. There have been 106 attack or vandalism incidents from January through August 2022, which is the latest the Energy Department data tracks. Among the years reviewed by NBC News, 2022 is the first that reached triple digits and it only contains eight months of data.
The incidents, which are self-reported by power companies to the federal government, provide little to no detail about what occurred. But experts said they can range from theft of copper wire to planned assaults aimed at causing power disruptions, as is what is suspected to have happened in North Carolina.