Solving Nigeria’s epileptic power supply with coal



Solving Nigeria’s epileptic power supply with coal

Solving Nigeria’s epileptic power supply with charcoal

By Francisca Oluyole, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
The problem of erratic and epileptic power supply in Nigeria is as old as the country itself.

Nigeria’s industrial development over the years has been hampered by a myriad of issues, one of which is the erratic nature of the electricity supply.

Each successive government had promised to do something drastic to stabilize the sector in order to stimulate the growth of the industrial sector.

According to industry experts in the energy sector, the continued rejection of electric charge by distribution companies (nightclubs) could worsen the epileptic power supply and cause further economic loss to the country.

Some experts have advised the federal government to turn in on itself and solve the energy problem using renewable means.

Countries like Germany, the United States and other Western countries have long adopted different types of renewable sources to increase their electricity production.

South Africa has not been outdone, as one of its main sources of electricity generation today is coal.

Nigeria is endowed with different types and grades of coal in commercial quantities, such as anthracite, bituminous, sub-bituminous and lignite coals. All of this could lead to downstream use and diversification of our economy.

The data available on coal in Nigeria shows that the ore is found in 22 coal deposits in 16 states of the Federation; Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Kogi, Nasarawa, Gombe, Adamawa, Plateau, Kwara, Bauchi, Sokoto and Benue.

Coal-fired power plants are said to produce more than a third of the world’s electricity, but cause hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year, mostly from air pollution.

Although power plants in Europe and America have started to fall as they retire in 2020, coal-fired power plants are still being built in Asia, almost all of which are funded by China.

While looking at the disadvantages of coal for electricity, it also has three main advantages over other renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

Coal is plentiful, relatively inexpensive, and requires less capital expenditure to build a coal-fired power plant.

Coal-fired power plants are less expensive to build and can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Independent of the sun or wind, coal-fired power plants can generate power around the clock.

This makes coal power attractive to less developed countries as a means of generating abundant and inexpensive energy for their growing economies.

These factors have dramatically increased the use of coal-fired energy around the world.

Through a liquefaction process, coal can be converted into liquid hydrocarbons and synthetic gas which burn cleaner and produce fewer harmful emissions.

Clean coal technologies are being developed to trap carbon emissions before they enter the environment in order to limit the harmful effects of burning this fossil fuel.

Mines and Steel Development Minister Olamilekan Adegbite said coal has huge potential, but lamented the world moving away from fossil fuels, a development that has prevented Nigeria from achieving the necessary support from foreign donors to develop coal.

Adegbite said the federal government has launched initiatives to use coal to generate electricity, adding that cleaner technologies are being developed to eliminate or contain the harmful effects of coal on humans.

“Whenever you mention coal to the World Bank or any donor agency or anyone who gives money, they say no they won’t support coal because there are cleaner technologies than carbon. coal.

“But we realized that Nigeria has an abundance of coal, so we have to use our coal. So we encourage coal to generate electricity locally and it works.

“The Dangote group now uses coal in some of its cement plants. They use coal because coal is cheaper than gas.

“Many industries, especially cement factories, now use coal. Already we have a few coal plants coming up.

“The most important is Mostra Energy, which is developing around Delta State. It will develop around 60 megawatts of electricity that will serve the networks. People are asking for more fields now, ”he said.

Adegbite said coal-fired power plants were being built to generate electricity by some companies in parts of the country.

The minister described coal as the cheapest source of electricity generation in Nigeria.

Adegbite noted, however, that even if the transformation of coal into electricity is encouraged locally, the export of the ore may no longer be popular as the focus is currently on renewables.

Dr Ochechukwu Ogah, Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) said Nigeria’s coal reserves can support our current power supply.

Ogah said Nigeria’s recorded charcoal production from 2016 to 2020 was 2,953,954.53 tonnes.

He said all stakeholders should ensure that they adopt clean coal technology by downstream operators to mitigate environmental impacts resulting from coal use activities.

“Nigeria’s coal reserve can support our current power supply and we should be concerned that it has not been included in our energy mix. Vision 20: 2020 predicted a 30% contribution from coal to Nigeria’s energy mix.

“Nigeria is blessed with rivers that flow year round and can provide sustainable water for the efficient operation of coal-fired power plants.

While the availability and affordability of coal is advantageous, these factors must be considered in light of the negative environmental impact resulting from its use.

The future of coal would depend on the use of low sulfur varieties, advancements in clean coal technologies, and finding lower cost alternatives. Although the drawbacks would reduce the demand for coal-based energy over time, the lack of a cost-effective alternative is expected to maintain demand for this fossil fuel for many years.

*** If used, please credit the author and the Nigerian News Agency (NAN).


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