Nigeria’s power supply from petroleum derivative sources has not been efficient to tackle the challenges faced in the country’s power sector. Endeavours to differentiate power generation sources in order to incorporate environmentally friendly power sources have not been fruitful. Although there is an arrangement heading supporting the consideration of environmentally friendly power hotspots for power supply, the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 has not prevailed with regards to accomplishing the country’s maintainable power drive.
Nigeria needs to vivaciously seek after its inexhaustible power goals through a regulation committed to empowering the take-up of sustainable power. This article looks at the law and the strategies supporting Nigeria’s maintainable power passed through a study of the EPSR Act, and other relevant legislations while considering the best possible means of achieving renewable energy targets.
UNDERSTANDING RENEWABLE ENERGY
Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished on a human timescale. It include sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.
Renewable energy, frequently alluded to as perfect energy, comes from normal sources or cycles that are continually renewed such as sunlight, wind and waves. For instance, the sunlight will continue emanating rays and the wind will continue blowing with or without human interference.
While environmentally friendly power is in many cases considered another innovation, outfitting nature’s power has for some time been utilized for warming, transportation, electricity generation and various other purposes. Wind has controlled boats to cruise the oceans and windmills to crush grain. The sun has given warmth during the day, and is the source of solar power for electricity generation.
TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
People have been saddling sun-based energy for millennia to develop crops, stay warm and dry food sources. As indicated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “more energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is utilized by everybody on the planet in one year.” Today, we utilize the sun’s beams in numerous ways; to warm homes and organizations, to warm water or power gadgets.
Sun oriented, or photovoltaic cells are produced using silicon or different materials that change daylight straightforwardly into power. Conveyed nearby planet groups produce power locally for homes and organizations, either through roof boards or local area projects that power whole areas. Sun oriented ranches can produce power for a wide range of homes.
The use of wind turbines to generate electricity is known as wind power or wind energy.
Over the years, amazing progress has been made from antiquated breeze plants. Today, turbines as tall as high rises with turbines almost as wide stand ready all over the planet. Wind energy turns a turbine’s edges, which takes care of an electric generator and produces power. Wind generated approximately 1800 TWh of electricity in 2021, accounting for over 6% of global electricity.
Hydropower energy generation capacity in Africa peaked at 37.2GW in 2020, Ethiopia recorded the highest installed generation capacity of about 4GW in 2020 from 3.8GW in 2019.
Hydroelectricity is the biggest hydropower application. Hydroelectricity generates about 15% of global electricity, and provides at least 50% of the total electricity supply for more than 35 countries.
Biomass Energy is a natural material that comes from plants and creatures, and include crops, squander wood and trees. Whenever biomass is burned, the synthetic energy is delivered as hotness and can produce power with a steam turbine. Biomass is most of the time, erroneously depicted as a spotless, inexhaustible fuel and a greener choice than coal and other petroleum products for creating power.
MAJOR LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK ON RENEWABLE ENERGY IN NIGERIA
These bits of regulation give the structure to the activity of environmentally friendly power in Nigeria, which set in stone the arrangement and implementation outlook. These regulations are illustrated beneath.
The 1999 Constitution
The Constitution vests regulation making powers for power supply across Nigeria on the National Assembly. Altogether, the damming of water sources inside Nigeria for hydropower supply, and the foundation of environmentally friendly power plants in Nigeria are primarily under the exclusive legislative list. However, the Houses of Assembly of the states are permitted to make power regulations that stretch out to rural areas within their states that are not covered by the National grid.
The Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005
The EPSRA was enacted in 2005 as a reaction to the sporadic exhibition of the National Electric Power Authority. The EPSRA in this manner ended the order of NEPA, revoked its empowering regulation, and supplanted it with the Electricity Regulatory Commission of Nigeria. The law gives strong and reformatory expectations on contest, customer assurance, general licensing and transmission of power in Nigeria.
The ‘Rural Electrification Fund’ was likewise created under this Act and the returns from the assets are to be impartially regulated by the REA to guarantee more fair admittance to power for all, particularly in provincial regions where indigenes use kindling, coal and fuel for energy, including cooking and homegrown use.
The Environmental Impact Assessment Act, 1992
The EIA tries to prevent the adverse consequences of exercises on the climate and this incorporates power generation and extraction. At the time of its establishment, hydrocarbons comprised (despite everything comprised) a significant wellspring of energy for Nigeria and the generation and extraction had negative natural effects. Thus, the institution of the EIA commands project supervisors and gatherings to analyze the possible effect of their exercises on the climate prior to undertaking them.
Under the ongoing EIA Guidelines 2017, a power creating organization or engineer will be expected to present its natural effect evaluation to the Federal Ministry of Environment, and acquire authorization or a permit to proceed with the venture.
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency Act, 2015
The NEMSA seeks to enforce and maintain standards in power distribution. The NEMSA carries out technical inspections and testing for electrical materials. The standards are stipulated by the NERC in collaboration with the SON.
MAJOR RENEWABLE ENERGY INNOVATIONS
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data
This energy framework is quite possibly the most mind-boggling foundation and requires speedy navigation continuously, which large information and AI calculations empower utilities. Moving away from grid analytics and management, AI’s applications in the renewables area incorporate power utilization estimating and prescient upkeep of sustainable power sources. It further empowers the web of energy applications that foresee grid limit levels and do time-sensitive independent exchanging and evaluating. With advancements in distributed computing, virtual power plants supplement the power age from utilities. Moreover, new companies use information investigation and AI for environmentally friendly power model planning and execution examination.
Distributed Energy Storage Systems
DESS confines sustainable power generation and capacity, beating anomaly underway. In view of monetary and different prerequisites, new businesses offer a scope of battery and battery-less arrangements. For example, stream batteries influence low and predictable energy, while strong state batteries are lightweight and give high energy thickness. For applications that require a lot of energy, in a brief timeframe, capacitors and super-capacitors are likewise utilized because of worries in regards to releasing, wellbeing, and ecological contamination. New companies are formulating battery-less capacity choices, for example, siphoned hydro and compacted air advancements. Then again, surplus energy is changed over to different types of energy like hotness or methane for capacity and reconversion through Power-to-X (P2X) innovation.
Notwithstanding being one of the most seasoned energy assets, the quick advancing nature of wind energy makes it one of the significant patterns. New companies are formulating seaward and airborne wind turbines to decrease the interest for land-based wind energy. Developments in this field frequently include other energy sources like drifting wind turbines, sunlight based, or flowing energy. To additionally further develop proficiency, there are consistent advances in the streamlined plans of the edges.
New businesses additionally foster effective generators and turbines for high energy transformation. The maintainability of sharp edge material is one of the difficulties the business faces today. To handle this, new businesses are making bladeless innovations and recyclable thermoplastic materials to fabricate sharp edges.
HOW BEST CAN NIGERIA EXPLORE THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INNOVATIONS?
In June 2019, the United Kingdom turned into the principal significant economy on the planet, to actively codify the objective to bring every greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2050, to follow through on its responsibilities under the 2016 Paris Agreement, to keep an Earth-wide temperature boost well underneath 2°C. As per the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, starting in 2019, energy supply represented 21% of the UK’s GHG emanations, yet additionally conveyed the biggest decrease in outflows at 8% when contrasted with 2018 figures.
Nigeria is not left out in ensuring that she achieves her renewable energy goal. It is on this premise that an Electricity Bill, 2021 is being considered by the National Assembly to repeal the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, and finally unite the Legislations that regulate the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. This move is commendable as it will resolve the lingering conflicts in the power sector, with a clear road map on how best the nation can achieve its renewable energy target.
The Electricity Bill has so many key innovations that will boost electricity production in Nigeria, but only one key innovation is of primary concern to this discourse, which is anchored on renewable energy. The Bill, if enacted, will guarantee a slow disposal of cross-appropriations at a predefined time period, and animate the commitment to renewable energy in Nigeria’s power blend.
While the aforesaid provision in the Electricity Bill is laudable, it is still vital to particularly include the recent renewable energy innovations in the Bill, to get off to a flying start in achieving our renewable energy target.
The Electricity Bill, 2021, appears to be clothed with immaculate white as it has addressed the major concerns in the power sector.
However, the Electricity Bill, 2021 will still not do the needed justice. The State Houses of Assembly must not shy away from making laws on electricity with particular emphasis on renewable energy, as they are empowered to do so under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.