THE CONCEPT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY AND THE CURRENT STATE IN NIGERIA
Renewable energy technologies use energy sources that are continually replenished by nature -such as the sun, the wind, water, the earth’s heat, and plants- as fuel, turning them into usable forms of energy, such as electricity, heat, chemicals, or mechanical power. The efficiency of some of the renewable energy technologies is yet to be optimised; but, the demand for renewable energy sources has continued to increase globally because of its clean, sustainable, futuristic, environmentally benign and inexhaustible nature.
In recent years, there have been several initiatives aimed at promoting the use of renewable technologies in Nigeria, this is because energy plays a vital role in economic growth, progress, and development, as well as poverty eradication and security of any nation.  Although uninterrupted energy supply is a vital issue for most countries today, future economic growth crucially depends on the long-term availability of energy from sources that are affordable, accessible, and environmentally friendly. Nigeria as a sovereign state has made significant strides in developing its renewable energy sector. So far, the noticeable renewable energy technologies that have been incorporated in Nigeria include:
1. SOLAR ENERGY: Solar power has emerged as a prominent renewable energy source in Nigeria, particularly for off-grid and rural electrification projects. The Nigerian government, in collaboration with private entities, has initiated solar power projects to provide electricity to rural areas. In 2016, the Nigerian government launched a solar power program called the Solar Power Naija Initiative. The objective of this initiative was to provide grid-connected solar power to households, businesses, and government institutions in rural and urban areas. The initiative was aimed at providing 1,200 MW of solar power to Nigerian homes and businesses.
2. WIND ENERGY: Wind power is another renewable technology that has great potential in Nigeria. The country has significant wind resources, particularly in the northern regions. There are plans to develop wind farms in the country, but these projects are still in the planning stages. An example will be the wind farm in Rimi, Katsina State. Challenges include the high upfront costs of wind energy infrastructure and the need for substantial investment.
3. HYDROPOWER: Hydropower has been a traditional source of electricity in Nigeria. The country has several large hydroelectric power plants, including the Kainji and Shiroro dams, among others. These plants generate a significant portion of the country’s electricity.
4. BIOMASS ENERGY: Biomass energy, derived from organic materials, are being explored as a source of renewable energy in Nigeria. The country has a large agricultural sector, which produces significant amounts of biomass waste. In recent years, there have been efforts to promote the use of biomass energy in Nigeria. Biomass power plants and biogas projects are in development, primarily in agricultural and rural areas. For example, the cassava biomass project that is being developed.
5. GEOTHERMAL ENERGY: Nigeria has geothermal potential in some regions, but geothermal development is in its early stages. Exploration activities are ongoing to assess the feasibility of tapping into this renewable resource.
Hence, renewable energy can help Nigeria not only meet its energy needs but also power sustainable economic growth and create jobs.