The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr.Babatunde Fashola, has put the total percentage contribution of the three hydropower generation companies in Nigeria – Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro, to the country’s daily power generation at 26 percent, up from 15 percent that he said was the situation in 2015.

Fashola said in Abuja that the contributions of hydropower to Nigeria’s energy mix has reduced that of gas power generation to 74 percent from 85 percent he said was the case in 2015.

Speaking at the Africa Today summit on renewable energy where he talked about the energy options for Nigeria in a low cost and low carbon world, Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State for Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Suleiman Hassan, stated that the federal government was firm on its intent to diversify Nigeria’s electricity generation sources away from her huge dependence on gas.

He said the multiple numbers of attacks on gas lines supplying gas to the country’s gas power generation plants in 2016, was an eye-opener to the government on the need to build alternative power sources like solar and hydro.

“As I pointed out earlier, our take-off point of available power in May 2015 was 2,690 megawatts (MW). On May 22, 1999, the amount of power on the grid was 2,345MW out of which 85 percent was gas-fired power and 15 percent was hydropower.

“This made us very vulnerable as a nation whenever there was a gas shortage or failure for any reason including willful damage to gas pipelines and assets. This much was evident in 2016 when we had no less than 20 attacks on our gas pipelines,” said Fashola.

He further stated: “Our response, of course, has been to diversify our energy sources and optimise other assets for power production by producing an energy mix that targets a 30 percent component of renewable energy out of the gross energy we produce by 2030. That document also provides investment information about the areas where renewable energy such as solar and hydro are most prolific.”

The minister also explains that the government has in its commitment to the new energy options, gone ahead to sign 14 solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with 14 developers with the potential to deliver over 1,000MW of solar power.

He also said: “We have resolved the problems that stalled work at the Zungeru 700MW hydropower plant with a new completion date of 2019 and we have also now awarded the 3050MW Mambilla hydropower plant after over 40 years of its initial conception.
“In addition, we are in advanced stages of procurement for six small hydro dams for private sector operation. What remains, therefore, is the faithful implementation of these projects to bring on stream their stock of renewable solar and hydropower.

“Even before all these other sources of renewable power come on stream, we are seeing better results through maintenance, repairs, and investment in the hydropower plants. On the 22nd of May this year, the percentage of hydropower on the grid has gone up to 26 percent from 15 percent that it was in May 2015 and the gas-fired power has reduced proportion now represents 74 percent of our energy mix from 85 percent in the same month in 2015, even though total power has increased,” Fashola added.

Similarly, a recent computation of the production levels of Gencos including gas Gencos showed that from October 1 to 11, the three hydro plants collectively generated 11,103.56MW of the 39,256MW that was generated in the country within the period.

This represented about 28 percent of the generation output, leaving the balance of 28,152.44MW to be generated by 22 gas Gencos.
From the records, Jebba hydropower plant produced the most power within the period – 3,958.2MW, followed by Shiroro which produced 3,592.91MW, and Kainji which had 3552.45MW to show.

Alade Counselor
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