Abakaliki, MY 16, 2019 Former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has recommended embedded power generation and distribution to help the country produce 20,000 megawatts and address its electricity challenges within a short period.
Nebo said this on Thursday in Abakaliki on the sidelines of ongoing first Biennial Engineering conference of Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi.
According to him, generating power the regular manner will not improve electricity in the country and the average Nigerian cannot totally solve his power problems.
He said it would be difficult for Federal Government to generate funds required to build robust infrastructure that would make electricity accessible to all parts of the country.
He added that “from my experience in the power sector as a minister, I believe the nation can easily and quickly generate at least 20,000 megawatts if we take a different route.
“Casting the national grid in iron in Nigeria is perhaps the reason the nation has not achieved self-sufficiency in electricity generation.
“It is time to emphasise embedded generation and distributed power.
“With embedded generation and distribution, you don’t need to use the national grid, you can generate electricity where the people need electricity.
“You can use truck mounted generating plants that can produce 10, 30 or 50 megawatts and give the people power without having to go through the national grid,” Nebo said.
Nebo explained that government owned about 40 per cent of the power distribution companies, hence the need to still focus on the sector and not leave everything in private hands.
He also urged government to pay more attention to infrastructure, noting that obsolete transmission and distribution lines had been the cause of inability to distribute generated power in the country.
He said that remaining in the national grid should be made optional for states.
“States that have the desire and capacity to develop their own power sources as obtained in other federal systems, should be freed from the present constitutional arrangement.
“The present constitutional arrangement allows states to generate power, but cannot transmit and distribute for the reason that electricity transmission is still on the exclusive list of Federal Government,” he said.
Expert seeks implementation of energy policy framework
An energy expert, Mr Osayu Ogboghodo, has urged the Federal Government to implement the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP) framework.
Ogboghodo, a consultant with Nextier Power, told the News Agency of Nigeria , in Lagos on Friday that its implementation would drive both on and off-grid renewable energy development.
He said that it would also attract investments and improve energy efficiency in the country.
Ogboghodo, while appraising the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari as he marks five years in office, noted that some progress had been made in the power sector.
He said: “I would say progress has been made, but a lot still needs to be done. The five-year Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) is looking to address the unfinished business.
“The key objectives of this Federal Government initiative are to achieve incremental power, then steady power and then uninterrupted power.
“While there have been some improvements in services since 2015, these improvements do not necessarily translate to adequate generation and grid capacity to meet the demand of the citizens. ”
He explained that while these policies and programmes were laudable, there was a need for proper coordination to achieve best results.
Ogboghodo said: “From a policy/regulatory perspective, the government will need to modify the policy and regulatory framework to ensure consistency, clarity, predictability and also avoid regulatory overlaps.
“It needs to implement the NREEEP framework to drive both on and off-grid renewable energy development, attract investments and improve energy efficiency.
“Also, we need to rethink and rebuild policies, regulations and operations to restructure the on-grid and off-grid segments of the electricity supply industry on a pathway to a sustainable and customer-centric power sector.”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Czech gov’t to lend CEZ money for nuclear energy plant expansion
The Czech government will lend energy company CEZ a hefty sum of money for the expansion of its nuclear power plant in Dukovany, according to a press release by the Government Office on Thursday.
“We more or less agreed that the state will provide CEZ with a loan on very favorable terms for the state and CEZ,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Transport Karel Havlicek said a new nuclear power source is necessary to ensure the energy self-sufficiency of the Czech Republic and ensure a stable and affordable source of electricity. He noted that two of the three agreements between the Czech state and the company could be signed by the end of June.
The government has been in talks with the company about expanding its nuclear power operation and replacing older units, but high costs had been a matter of concern for officials.
A new unit for the power plant would cost an estimated 162 billion crowns (6.6 billion U.S. dollars), local media quotes CEZ CEO Daniel Benes as saying.
Uzbekistan unveils low carbon energy strategy
Uzbekistan’s Energy Ministry has announced the development of a national Low-Carbon Energy Strategy with an aim of deploying up to 30 GW of additional power capacity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in the coming 10 years, the ministry said Thursday.
The strategy was developed with assistance from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and international consulting company Corporate Solutions and it will help with the country’s transition to low-carbon forms of energy production and meet increasing demand for electricity, it said in a statement.
The strategy follows the recent publication of a 10-year plan for electricity provision in Uzbekistan developed with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
“This aims to deploy up to 30 GW of additional power capacity by 2030, including 5 GW of solar energy, 3.8 GW of hydro energy, 2.4 GW of nuclear energy and up to 3 GW of wind energy,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, priority activities include modernization and reconstruction of existing power plants, construction of new plants using energy efficient technologies, improvement of power metering systems, fuel diversification and development of renewable energy sources.
These measures will help the country reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent — from 2010 levels — by 2030, it said.
Wind “most important” energy source in Germany for first time: data
With a share of almost 35 percent, wind power was for the first time the “most important” source of electricity generation in Germany in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Thursday.
At the same time, more electricity was generated from renewable energy sources and fed into the grid in Germany than from conventional energy sources, such as coal and nuclear energy, in Q1 for the first time, according to provisional results published by Destatis.
“In our opinion, the decline in conventional power generation in the first quarter is due to both a good wind supply and a coronavirus-induced drop in demand, which particularly affected the profitability of coal-fired plants,” Robert Diels of r2b energy consulting told Xinhua on Thursday.
With a total of 72.3 billion kilowatt-hours, the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources increased by almost 15 percent year-on-year to a share of 51.2 percent of the total amount of electricity fed into the grid in Germany, according to Destatis.
The increase was the largest (21 percent) for electricity from wind power, which was “due mainly to a very windy quarter,” Destatis noted.
The amount of electricity generated from conventional energy sources was down by almost 22 percent. The share of coal-generated electricity decreased “significantly” by 33.4 percent year-on-year, according to Destatis.
In January, the German government agreed on a shutdown plan for coal-fired power plants in Germany by 2038 at the latest. The first power plant units are to be taken off the grid by the end of this year.
Germany “is about to leave the fossil age with big steps,” said Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz when presenting the plan and added that the dismantling of old energy producers would need to be matched with the expansion of renewable energies in order to cover future demand.
German energy providers file joint lawsuit at European court against RWE, E.ON deal
Following the approval of German energy company RWE’s takeover of E.ON’s energy generation assets and trading business, more than ten smaller energy providers in Germany filed an action for annulment with the European Court of Justice (EJC) on Wednesday.
The German energy providers argued in a joint statement that the approval of the deal by the European Commission as well as the German national competition regulator Bundeskartellamt in September 2019 was “clearing the way for two national champions at the expense of medium-sized companies.”
“This deal is associated with considerable disadvantages for competition and thus for all consumers,” the joint statement read.
Central to the deal is an asset swap between RWE and E.ON, two German electric utility companies, valued at more than 40 billion euros (44 billion U.S. dollars). With the merger, E.ON acquired networks and sales divisions and became one of Europe’s largest suppliers of electricity and gas.
In return, RWE took over renewables and once again became a producer of energy from nuclear, coal and gas plants, as well as wind and solar power.
The plaintiffs fear that the “reorganization of the German energy market” as envisaged by RWE and E.ON would eliminate the participation of other suppliers, according to the joint statement.
Although the joint lawsuit at the EJC does not have any immediate effect on the approved restructuring of the RWE and E.ON, the lawsuit announced on Wednesday presents an additional legal risk for the two energy giants.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, both RWE and E.ON had reported increased revenues and earnings for the first quarter of 2020. On Thursday, E.ON is excepted to present more detailed plans about the restructuring and future plans on its annual general meeting.
Portugal announces 7-bln-euro investment plan for hydrogen energy over next decade
The Portuguese government on Thursday announced a plan to invest 7 billion euros (7.67 billion U.S. dollars) to increase hydrogen-based power generation over the next 10 years.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes told reporters after a meeting of Council of Ministers that the objective is to renew Portugal‘s energy matrix.
The Council of Ministers on Thursday approved the “National Energy and Climate Plan 2030” and the “National Hydrogen Strategy” (EN-H2).
Among the projects and initiatives, one of highlights is the construction of a “green energy” production unit in the city of Sines with an investment of more than 2.85 billion euros (3.12 billion U.S. dollars).
With these measures, the government plans to gradually introduce “hydrogen as a sustainable pillar of the transition to a decarbonized economy.”
The goal for 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 45 percent and 55 percent, preserving more forests, taking care of rural areas and reducing large fires.
Fernandes pointed out that Portugal managed to reduce the emissions by 21 percent by 2018, and just last year there was a reduction of 8.5 percent, higher than the European Union average.
According to the minister, “the creation of new business models and the relaunch of the economy opens up new opportunities for economic and industrial development,” in addition to creating more jobs in the country.
Global green energy growth to fall for first time in 20 years – IEA
But, it is expected to pick up next year, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
The world is set to build fewer wind turbines, solar plants and other installations that produce renewable electricity this year as energy demand has been reduced across commercial and industrial sectors and logistics issues delay projects.
“Countries are continuing to build new wind turbines and solar plants, but at a much slower pace,’’ IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said.
But overall global renewable power capacity is still expanding and will grow by six per cent in 2020.
Slower growth this year reflects delays in construction activity due to supply chain disruptions, lockdown measures and social distancing as well as financing challenges.
Next year, renewable power additions are forecast to rebound to the level reached in 2019, as delayed projects come online and assuming a continuation of supportive government policies.
Almost all mature markets are affected by downward revisions, except the U.S. where investors are rushing to finish projects before tax credits expire.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
COVID-19: Energy industry still striving to meet demand–Expert
Iheme, an Administrative Executive at Nexgen Energy and Allied services, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.
” The needs are still there. Our support to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, homes and corporate organisations is very critical at this time more than ever.
“It then calls for dynamism in our approach to drive the industry and meet the challenges of this time with technological solutions that will support economic growth.
“At Nexgen, being a customer-oriented organisation, we leverage on social media and other trends to stay above board as well as curb the impact of COVID-19 on our business,’’ she said.
Iheme, however, called on stakeholders in the industry to rise to the occasion and ensure that Nigerians enjoy stable energy to boost their productivity.
“While adhering to safety protocols to protect staff and customers, the energy industry should strive to provide quality services at this time.
“It is important to redefine how work is being done now to achieve excellence.
“At Nexgen Energy, our way of doing business has changed and we have geared up to it, seamlessly transiting to new ways of doing business in what is now termed as the new normal.
“Logistics particularly has been affected owing to inter-state lockdown in Nigeria and this disruption hinders timely delivery to meet up with customers’ demand.
“With the help of google earth, skype, hang out, zoom and other available technologies, we are able to engage our customers and resolve their complaints,” she said.
According to Iheme, renewable energy is a veritable alternative for energy supply that could engender growth and provide unlimited opportunities for industries if embraced.
She said sustainable development and a safe earth should also top concerns at this time of the pandemic.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Russian, Saudi energy ministers discuss oil market
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud on Wednesday discussed the oil market situation in a phone conversation, the Russian Energy Ministry has said.
“Russia and Saudi Arabia are pleased with the signs of improved economic and market indicators, especially with rising oil demand and a weakening concern about the limited availability of oil storage facilities,” the ministry said in a statement.
Following the talks, the parties noted in a joint statement that Russia and Saudi Arabia are firmly committed to achieving market stability and accelerating the restoration of balance in the oil market, the ministry said.
The parties are confident that their partners also fully support these goals and will comply with the provisions of the OPEC+ agreement, it added.
The ministers praised the efforts of responsible manufacturers around the world which have voluntarily adjusted their production out of a sense of shared responsibility for the market situation.
Novak welcomed additional voluntary substantial output cuts made by Saudi Arabia and the steps taken by the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to support these efforts, according to the statement.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, and other crude producers, led by Russia, reached an agreement known as the OPEC+ deal last month, whose aim is to cut output in order to stop a market free-fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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