‘Off-grid, mini-grid solution to Nigeria’s energy problem’
Africa’s Largest Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Company Powergas Nigeria has recommended off-grid and mini-grid (at least in the short-term) as the most efficient way out of the Nigeria’s energy troubles.
The firm also re-emphasised the need to end gas flaring in Nigeria.
The Director of Sales and Strategy, Mr. Sumeet Singh, made the recommendation at the just concluded 21st Annual Africa Business Conference at Harvard Business School (Boston, MA), USA. The conference focused on the future of the Nigerian energy market.
Singh was a panellist at the conference, which was themed “Lighting Up Africa The Broken Energy Chain”.
The discussion sought to find answers to critical questions on why Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has failed to provide adequate access to basic needs like electricity, which is very critical for industrialisation and economic development.
The panel also discussed related subjects like “Africa’s Private Sector’s contribution with innovative solutions to balance the supply-demand gap in electricity sector” and “Can cleaner/renewables based mini-grids leapfrog the traditional large-scale power plants in Nigeria?”.
Singh stressed the importance of innovative technology in improving the lives in Africa and creating a safer environment.
He said: “One of the main challenges with the electricity supply value chain is the infrastructural-gap, be it efficient transmission, last-mile distribution, fair-metering or the Natural Gas Pipeline Network. “While all these issues are being addressed at various levels, with different pace of development, the efforts don’t seem to be delivering required results in the short to medium term. Quite a few of these gaps can be addressed by solutions like CNG/LNG under the “Gas on Wheels” Model and off-grid/Captive and mini-grid Power Solutions to industries and remote communities. These off-grid solutions based on CNG fired Gas Generator and Solar/Renewables are ideal solutions providing reliable, affordable and clean energy solutions to not just survive, but to thrive in this economy.
“There is immense potential in the energy sector, especially through Natural Gas, much of which is flared at various sites in the country. This situation will change over time with government initiatives like Natural Gas Flare Commercialisation Program (NGFCP). If Nigeria’s flared gas is captured and processed, it would significantly boost the power generation capabilities to double the current capacity, while significantly improving the quality of the air people breathe.”
Singh, who hhighlighted landmark projects embarked upon by Powergas Nigeria in fixing part of the broken energy value chain in Nigeria, noted that effective utilisation of Natural Gas is also extremely important for import substitution of liquid fuel such as AGO (Diesel) and PMS (Petrol) among others.
“And that is why we, at Powergas, are committed to increasing the use of domestically available Nigerian Natural Gas for industries and residents through our innovative ‘Gas on Wheels’ solution,” he added.