Power Sector News And Other Related Stories For Wednesday 29th June 2022.
ECN, NEPA, PHCN, Discos: How Nigerians Pay for ‘Darkness’ (3)
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer but the West African nation struggles to meet its energy needs, a struggle that has persisted for many decades. This is often caused by intractable problems of generation and transmission. In 2022 alone, the country’s national grid has collapsed at least five times. Today, let us x-ray the operations in other nations, what they do, and see what makes them different from Nigeria.
Electricity generation and supply in some countries South Africa
Eskom is the state-owned electricity provider. A 2016 study compared long-term prices of different types of new power plants. As at 2020, coal generated 86% of electricity in South Africa. So, the carbon intensity of electricity generation is higher than most other countries at over 800 gCO2/kWh.
States Liable for Electricity Supply Crisis –Fashola
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said the failure of the 36 States of the federation to invest in power generation, transmission and distribution as enshrined in the constitution has in no small measure contributed to the sector’s woes.
Fashola stated this at the BRF GABFEST 6 to commemorate his 59th birthday celebration with the theme ‘‘ Who I am Voting For” monitored on Zoom.
The Minister said electricity is now a private sector affair because the assets have been sold since 2013 pursuant through the laws made by our lawmakers in 2005 which is the Electric Sector Power Sector Reform Act (ESPRA) of 2005.
Prior to that, he said the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria item 14a, b and c under the concurrent list which are new introductions made in 2010, gives every State in Nigeria the right to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.
Operators Keep Mum on Planned 5,000mw Minimum Power Supply from July 1
Operators in the Nigerian power industry have remained silent regarding their preparedness towards the commencement of their planned 5,000 megawatts (MW) minimum electricity supply to Nigerians from July 1, 2022 -three days from today (Tuesday).
The targeted 5000mw minimum power supply from July 1, 2022, is a resolution of the market participants including the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), generation companies (Gencos), distribution companies (Discos), gas suppliers and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) aimed to incrementally improve the nation’s power supply situation.
Championing Renewable Energy Through Carbon Reduction
The challenge of generating electricity in Nigeria has become hydra-headed in nature. Several administrations, have made efforts to resolve the problem of electricity power but their best has consistently come short, with the country’s power grid experiencing frequent collapses recently.
Though the most recent collapse was attributed to the collapse of Oben Gas plant, which led to failure to generate supply. Government sources have assured that concerted efforts are ongoing to resolve the situation and ensure it doesn’t repeat.
Those who are in the know have projected that about 50,000MW would be required to adequately light up Nigeria. But, as of July 2016, the total installed capacity in Nigeria was 12,522MW while estimated population stood at 187 million. These depict a far cry from the projected power requirement expected to sustain the nation. Countries like Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania with smaller populations have considerable greater installed capacity.
African Development Fund Approves $2 Million to Boost Electricity Reforms in Nigeria and Others
The African Development Fund’s Board of Directors has approved a $2 million technical assistance grant to fund research that will support energy reforms in Nigeria and other West African States.
This disclosed in a recently released circular titled “ECOWAS: African Development Fund approves $2 million technical grant toboost electricity reforms”
The ultimate objective is to stimulate cross-border electricity trade and improve energy access in the 15 countries in the region.
Solomon Sarpong, project team leader at the African Development Bank stated that “Ultimately, this project will facilitate regional electricity trade and help improve access to electricity.”
He added, “It will address major causes of fragility, such as infrastructure bottlenecks, youth unemployment, environmental challenges, gender inequalities, and regional development imbalances”.
ECOWAS consists of 15 countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Covering about 6.1 million km2, ECOWAS has an estimated population of 360 million people.
Renewable Energy Can Solve Nigeria’s Energy Crisis
Fuel queues recently resurfaced in many filling stations across the country following the shutdown of operations by some independent petroleum marketers who argue that they are no longer making reasonable profit by selling petrol at the government-stipulated price of N165 per litre.
It couldn’t have come at a worse time as Nigerian businesses and households have been grappling with the skyrocketing price of diesel since the beginning of the year. In January 2022, the price of diesel hovered around N350 per litre. Today, it goes for as high as N850 per litre in some parts of the country.
These rising energy prices have had a far-reaching economic impact. Many businesses and households that depend on diesel-powered and petrol-powered generators, amidst the continuing unreliability of power from the national grid, have seen their operating and living expenses go up. To cushion the effects of these soaring energy prices, various businesses have resorted to passing down the cost to their customers, leading to a rise in the prices of their services and commodities in the market and further chipping away at the income levels and purchasing power of the consumers.
Loadshedding – Mantashe Must Go
The imminent threat of stage 6 loadshedding highlights the failures of the ANC government, and in particular a string of energy ministers and Eskom war rooms (led first by Cyril Ramaphosa and later by David Mabuza).
Gwede Mantashe, however, deserves singling out. As the minister responsible for securing South Africa’s electricity needs and planning its energy future, he has been obstructive and combative in his approach to dealing with proposed solutions.
Mantashe’s allegiance to outdated ideologies, his strong links to the unions (and in particular the National Union of Mineworkers, of which he was once the National Organizer and General Secretary), and his unwavering support for coal and nuclear, have placed him at the forefront of hindering a range of solutions to South Africa’s short term electricity generation crisis.
Electricity Regulatory Authority Orders LEC to Disconnect Public Corporations, Agencies for Failure to Pay Electricity Bills
The Board of Commissioners (BoC) of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) has backed the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) in its move to disconnect government agencies and public corporations owing the LEC.
The LERC is the national regulator of the energy sector which is clothed with the responsibilities to issue licenses, approve tariffs, ensure liberalization of the sector, improve service delivery, protect consumers and create a vibrant electricity sector.
The LERC’s support comes in the wake of complaints filed to it by the management of LEC; expressing dissatisfaction that several autonomous agencies and commissions of government have accrued an energy debt of US$1,321,196 from the supply of electricity services. Their refusal to pay, the LEC said, has placed them in “delinquent status” with the Corporation.
Institutions indebted to the Corporation include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC), Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), National Housing Authority (NHA), National Transit Authority (NTA), National Aids Control Program (NACP), National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), National Drug Service (NDS), National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and the University of Liberia (UL).