The Director-General, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Engr. Reuben Okeke said that the idea of investing in renewable energy sources is not feasible since it is too expensive and inadequate to meet the power needs of a developing country like Nigeria, reports Footprint to Africa.
Footprint to Africa learnt that the Ministry of Power recently signed an $850 million pact with energy firms to develop renewable energy sources in four states of the federation, among many other initiatives by government to exploit abundant renewable energy like solar, biomass, and wind.
Okeke emphasized that Nigeria cannot get the required volume of electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, coal, biomass and wind, adding that it takes a lot of time and resources to harness limited energy from those sources.
“It is an ongoing debate, but we know that solar, coal, and biomass cannot generate megawatts of electricity that can meet the power demands of the 170 million Nigerians,” he stated.
The DG, NAPTIN asserted that the three renewable energy sources put together cannot generate one third of electricity that either hydro or thermal would provide, adding that the money, which the government would spend in providing 10 or 20 megawatts of electricity from solar, biomass, wind or coal can generate an appreciable number of megawatts when hydro or thermal form of generation is used.
The country, the NAPTIN boss added, is not ripe for renewable energy, urging the government and other investors to concentrate on hydro and gas powered plants for growth.
According to him, it is impossible to grow the economy with renewable energy, arguing that conventional sources of energy is the best and widely acceptable means of generating electricity globally.
Currently, he said, the country boasts of 70 per cent gas power, and 30 per cent hydro electricity and cautioned that the two should be developed to meet the growing energy needs of the populace.
He affirmed that renewable energy sources like solar, biomass and coal provide insignificant quantum of electricity megawatts, and as such, cannot meet the needs of the populace.