The Federal Government and ten states are currently working to produce 2,000 megawatts of off-grid electricity through solar energy sources, the Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar, announced on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Power Dialogue organised by NexTier Power, Abubakar also revealed that Nigeria’s major hydropower plants, Kainji and Jebba, were producing only 130MW of electricity to the grid out of their collective installed capacity of about 1,300MW.
He said, “We have policies around renewable sources of energy. We want to maintain them on the mini-grid and off-grid because the grid is not yet stable enough to take various energy mixes.
“We want to raise our base-load to a level where we can later integrate these other sources of energy. So this is what we are doing; in that regard, we have some developers with whom we have just opened discussions.
“And we have reached a level of financial and technical evaluation with them to develop 14 projects culminating to 1,000MW of solar power. It will be off-grid. Also, about 10 state governors are trying to see to the fruition of about 1,000MW.”
Abubakar added, “They are to produce 100MW each of solar power. And we are also looking at other newer technologies, such as the hydrogen technology, which we are still studying and collaborating with those initiating it.”
The minister said the German government recently invited him to Nigeria, where partners had a session on hydrogen technology. “They have opened a hydrogen office in Nigeria, so we are still reviewing that,” he stated.
On the recent collapse of the national power grid, the minister said many factors had caused the repeated crashes in the electricity system. He outlined the causes of the constant grid collapses, including the vandalism of gas pipelines, power lines and other equipment, adding that inadequate water levels had also contributed to the disturbances to the national grid.
Abubakar then revealed that Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants with a combined capacity of about 1,300MW were producing only 130MW to the national grid.
He said, “We are just coming into the rainy season, and the dams need to flood, and if we don’t have a flood, the water level will go down. Once the water goes down, it doesn’t have that energy to turn the turbines.
“Let me give you an example; Kainji and Jebba (hydropower plants) have installed over 1,000MW. Kainji has 700MW+, while Jebba has 500MW to 600MW.
“But right now, Kainji is only giving us 50MW to the grid because of some forced maintenance. Only one unit out of eight units is working in Kainji. So also is Jebba, which is giving us only 80MW, which has an installed capacity of close to 600MW.”
The minister further noted that the government was committed to the global zero carbon emission target.