Today is another time to attend to another cycle of reactions from readers of this column. The readers are passionate about how Nigeria fails to resolve its perennial energy crisis. Some months after publishing my two parts article “Use of Solar Energy in Nigeria: Efforts, Innovations and Missing Links”, readers kept on sending comments across the globe; some of the comments became personal chats between us but I think there is need to publish few of such comments. The readers’ reaction on the issue shows that Nigerians are truly worried that majority of the communities hardly enjoy electricity supply of five hours in a cycle of 24 hours. Hardly, can one find a community in Nigeria enjoying uninterrupted supply of electricity for a complete week in a month. Electric power is a major input to human productivity in today’s world; imagine the level of productivity in the country if electricity is made available, accessible and affordable to 80 percent of Nigerians. Small, medium and large scale industries will be back to life, unit cost of manufactured products will come down, communication will automatically be enhanced and there will be improvement in all facets of human endeavour, thereby improving the economy. One ardent reader of my column shared an abridged article he read on the use of Wind energy in Scotland and called on the Nigerian authority to borrow a leaf. Finally, a reminder; previous articles of this column can be accessed via my blog: www.breakthroughwithmkothman.blogspot.com
Use of Solar Energy in Nigeria: Efforts, Innovations and Missing Links
Dear Dr. M. K. Othman,
Thanks for a well articulated article on the use of solar energy in Nigeria. There are many efforts across the nation to adapt use of solar energy but government policy on solar is very ambiguous; we need a clear policy statement from the Nigeria Ministry of Power to guide other government agencies to kickstart in the right direction. I hope relevant agencies will use the information provided in this article to move our country in the right direction towards a permanent resolution of energy crisis.
Ajayi Moses Olugbenga
Dear Dr. Othman,
Your analysis on the efforts made for uses of solar energy in Nigeria are correct and I am impressed with the analysis. Despite these numerous efforts, there has been no improvement in the power sector over the years, why? The answer can be linked to our problems in Nigeria; we lack the ability or refuse to implement government energy programmes properly. Some of the programmes do not have components of sustainability after the intervention. And there are massive and endemic corruptions in the energy sector at various levels of government administrations over the years
OKEDIRAN Olumuyiwa Joshua
Dr. Othman, Please, refer to your two-part article on “Use of Solar Energy in Nigeria: Efforts, Innovations and Missing Links”, it is a very good analysis! Congrats!
Well rounded analysis. Thumbs up!
Shittu Suraj Bamidele
Dear Dr. M. K. Othman,
I have read your interesting article “Use of Solar Energy in Nigeria: Efforts, Innovations and Missing Links”, I begin to think, that Nigeria should diversify to look for all the promising and potential sources of renewable energy. Example “wind” is another very promising renewable energy source that can be tapped in Nigeria. I read an article in an online paper on how Scotland’s wind turbines cover all its electricity needs for a day. I am tempted to share the news with your readers in case someone who can do something about Nigeria’s case will a borrow leaf.
The paper reported that the winds tapped by the country boosted the renewable energy output to provide 106 percent of Scotland’s electricity needs for a day. Across the year, wind and other renewable energy sources contribute over half of Scotland’s electricity needs. The country’s Met Office sometimes issues a yellow “be aware” weather warning covering much of the country as wind speeds reached 115 miles per hour on the top of the Cairngorms and gusts of more than 60 miles per hour hit towns in the north. The weather brought travel disruption, with some bridges closed, ferries cancelled and trains affected but helped boost the country’s renewable energy production.
Turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the National Grid at one particular day while the country’s total power consumption for homes, business and industry was 37,202 MWh – meaning wind power generated 106 percent of Scotland’s electricity needs. This day was a Sunday, which was not a common happening. The paper quoted WWF Scotland director Lang Banks “While Sunday’s weather caused disruption for many people, it also proved to be a good day for wind power output, with wind turbines alone providing the equivalent of all Scotland’s total electricity needs. This major moment was made possible thanks in part to many years of political support, which means that across the year now, renewables contribute well over half of our electricity needs. However, if we want to ensure we reap the many benefits of becoming a low carbon economy, we need to see this political support for renewables continue. We also need the Scottish government’s forthcoming energy strategy to set a goal of securing half of all of our energy, across electricity, heat and transport, from renewables by 2030.”
“While it’s not impossible that this has happened in the past, it’s certainly the first time since we began monitoring the data in 2015 that we’ve had all the relevant information to be able to confirm it. However, on the path to a fully renewable future, this certainly marks a significant milestone.” Another expert quoted by the paper was Karen Robinson, of Weather Energy, she said: “Electricity demand during weekends is usually lower than the rest of the week. Nevertheless, the fact that wind power was able to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity needs shows just how far renewables have come. We remain fully supportive of low-carbon technologies, which offer a huge economic opportunity for Scotland and have a key role to play in our fight against the threat posed by climate change to our society and natural environment. We have a clear policy for an energy mix to provide energy security for the future and will set out our ambitions for an integrated approach to low-carbon technologies within our draft energy strategy later this year. This will include exploring the option of setting a new renewable energy target.”
Nigeria is not Scotland and the wind speed has never reached 115 miles per hour, which is equivalent to 184 kilometres per hour but wind is another untapped source of renewable energy in Nigeria. From literature, the annual mean wind speeds in Nigeria range from two to 9.5 m/s capable of generating annual power density range from 3.4 and 520 kW/m2. There are other sources of energy in addition to wind and we should exploit them. Government can exploit the renewable energy sources and promote their uses through the deployment of decentralised energy system. This can be done through massive utilisation of renewable energy sources. Thus, renewable energy technologies can be promoted through deliberate government support to reduce the unit cost of renewable energy technology and make such technologies accessible to common Nigerians. Government should mount aggressive campaign for adaptation and utilisation of renewable energy technologies as well as training and retraining of manpower to manage such technologies. Again, government should formulate a policy aimed at capital development of concerned renewable energy technologies and entrepreneurs by instituting effective liquidity instruments. These measures are by no means exhaustive but it is time for Nigeria to think and act along this line.
Dr. Yusuf M. Abdullahi
Ahmadu Bello University Revolution in Seeds Technology
Dear Prof. Othman
Your article on Ahmadu Bello University Revolution in Seeds Technology is an excellent Paper with very important information on seed science and development as key steps of an efficient agricultural production. It is a qualitative and educating article to the general readership. Bravo Prof. and congrats once more