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Nigeria’s untapped renewable energy sources, estimated at 93,950MW—UN

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The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has revealed that the nation’s renewable energy sources are estimated at 93,950MW and urged the Federal Government to explore them.

The estimates on dammable rivers or waterways also show that Nigerian rivers can support additional 100 dams to provide electricity and irrigation for agriculture throughout the year.

The ECA Chief Sub-Regional officer, Data Centre, Mr. Bakary Dosso, made the appeal at the launch of the ECA Country Profile 2016 Report for Nigeria in Abuja.

According to the report, Nigeria was blessed with abundant untapped energy resources that can sustain the West African sub-region’s energy demand.

From his revelations, it became clear that “the country is home to enormous energy resources such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear power and tar sands”.

“Other resources include solar, wind, biomass and hydropower.

“However, development and exploitation of energy sources have been skewed in favour of hydropower, petroleum and natural gas.

“Nigeria has an untapped potential to produce 93,950MW from carbon-emission-free energy sources, which include small and large hydroelectric power plants, 68 percent and nuclear power, 21 percent.

“Also, Nigeria has an untapped potential of seven percent solar and photo-voltaic and onshore wind, two per cent,” he said.

Dosso decried that upon the massive potentials, it was sad that half of the population depended on wood, charcoal, manure and crop residues for energy.

He further noted that Nigeria had a total installed electricity capacity of 12,522MW and an available current capacity of only about 4,500MW.

The UN chief therefore, urged the Federal Government to seize the opportunities to improve the power situation in the country, explaining that the country’s energy challenges, especially electricity generation, transmission and distribution were impacting negatively on the economy.

In his further submission, Dosso averred that “The lack of reliable access to electricity remains a major obstacle to creating a much stronger and more diverse economy and improving the living standards of the population”.

“It is, therefore, crucial to scale up both private and public investment in the electricity sector.

“For that to happen, the authorities must attract private investment by establishing a clear regulatory framework and aligning their policies so that the infrastructure for generating and transporting electricity can be developed efficiently,” he said.

Earlier in his presentation, the Director, ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Prof. Dimitri Sanya, said that accelerating economic transformation in Nigeria there is need for competitiveness and strengthening of local production capacities.

“To this end, Nigeria should reinforce its effort to establish a market-oriented policy aimed at promoting a secure, competitive and reliable energy supply and policies that encourage equipment and technology acquisition.

“A clear regulatory framework needs to be established to attract private investment, to keep investing in grid expansion while ensuring routine maintenance.

“The country should further invest in a diversified mix of energy sources through incentive policies in favour of non-fossil energy sources including solar, wind and hydropower.”

In response, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Economic Growth, Mr Kayode Obasa, said “We are aware that a lot still needs to be done in the power sector because once power is addressed, virtually all areas of the economy will be positively affected”.


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