Nigeria may not achieve Vision 20:2020 because of poor electricity- German official

The German pushed for renewable energy as an alternative source of power supply.

Nigeria’s quest to emerge as one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020 will flop if her economy would depend on the current 4,000 megawatts, MW, electricity supply, the President of the German Federal Environment Agency, Jochen Flasbarth, said on Thursday.

Mr. Flasbarth, who was speaking in Abuja, said Nigeria needs more electricity supply to achieve the ambitious target, urging the Federal Government to embrace renewable energy option as an alternative source of power supply, by having some fossil-based power plants generate more electricity.

“It is very obvious that with 4,000 MW of electricity, Nigeria will never reach the target of being among the top 20 economies of the world in 2020,” he said. “So, Nigeria needs electricity through some fossil-based power plants. This could be achieved through renewable energy.”

Fossil-fuel power stations are those that burn fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas or petroleum (oil) to produce electricity.

Mr. Flasbarth stressed that it would be practically impossible to provide the whole country with electricity through a centralised electricity supply structure, and called for the decentralisation of energy sources.

According to him, Nigeria is endowed with so many natural resources that could be harnessed into alternative sources of energy, adding that the country’s abundant sun could be transformed into solar power, apart from the large body of water across the country, which could be a big source of bio-gas.

He cited the example of Germany, where the National Power Grid is the major source of power supply, pointing out that all that Nigeria needs is the grid method, which he noted was costly and expensive to maintain.

If the natural sources could be harnessed, he said the grid would not be the only option, adding that for total power coverage of the country, the government should first of all consider bringing electricity down to the consumers from its source.

“To bring the electricity from where it is produced to where it is consumed, you need a grid. And for Nigeria to develop so fast, there is need for national grid. But, there are regions where it is much cheaper to invest in off-grid solutions, other than establishing a costly grid and maintenance of the grid costs a lot,’’ Mr. Flasbarth said.

Meanwhile, the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, managers of Phase 2 of the Omotosho Power Plant, in Ondo State, said it has completed the construction of the 500MW plant.

The Managing Director of the company, Liu Zhao-Long, said in Lagos that all the four turbines are now functioning, adding that the official commissioning by President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to take place later this month.

“We have finished work on Omotosho Phase 2. The four turbines are contributing 500MW to the national grid,” he said.

Mr. Zhao-Long said his company would be in charge of the facility for the warranty period of one year, before handing it over to the Nigerian government.


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