The provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act clearly state that the Federal Government will seek to meet national electricity access targets through the following strategies:
i. Grid-based extension for nearby areas;
ii. Independent mini-grids for remote areas with concentrated loads where grid service is not economic or will take many years to come;
iii. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems for remote areas with scattered small loads.
Furthermore, it implies that non-conventional renewable energy is a key element in the overall strategy of the Federal Government in rapidly expanding access to electricity services in the country.(Ebonyi State Citizens’ Handbook on Alternative Energy)
2.5.1 Solar Energy Resources in Nigeria
Solar energy is the most burning of the renewable energy sources in view of its apparent limitless potential. The sun radiates its energy at the rate of about 3.8x1023kw per second. Most of this energy is transmitted radially as electromagnetic radiation which comes to about 1.5kw/m2 at the boundary of the atmosphere. After traversing the atmosphere, a square meter of the earth’s surface can receive as much as 1kw of solar power, averaging to about 0.5 over all hours of day light. The huge energy resources potential from the sun is available for about 26% of the day. Nigeria is also having some cold and duty atmosphere which is experienced during the harmattan in the northern part which usually occurs for four months period (November to February) annually. The dust from the harmattan has an attenuating affect on insolation from the sun. Studies relevant to the availability of the solar energy resources in Nigeria (Sambo, 1986; Sambo 1988, Sambo, Doyle 1986; and Bala, 2001; Folayan, 1988) have fully indicated its viability for practical use.
Nigeria is endowed with daily sunshine that average 6.25 hours, which is ranging between about 6.25hours and southern region of the nation respectively. It also has an annual average daily solar radiation of about 3.5kwm2/dm in the coastal area which is the southern part of the country and 7.0kwm2/dwy at the northern boundary (Bala, 2001).
The country also receives average annual sun of 2200kw/m2 in Sokoto,Gusau, Kano, Yobe and Maiduguri in the far north, to 600kw/m2 in port Harcourt, Calabar, Aba in Abia and Warri all in the sun which is equivalent to about 1.082 million tons of oil, it is about 4000 times the current crude oil production per day, and also about 13 thousand times of daily natural gas production based in energy unit. Also, if solar energy appliances with just5% efficient are used to cover only 1% of the country’s surface area, then 2.54x106mwh of electricity can be obtained from solar energy.
This amount of electrical energy is up to 4.66 million barrels of oil per day. Based on the Nigeria land area of 923,768km2 and average of 5.535kwh/m2, the country has an average of 1831.06kwh of solar energy annually.
The annual insolation of the solar energy is valued about 27 times the national conventional energy resources in Nigeria units and also over 117,000 times the amount of electric power that was generated in 1998 (Chendo, 2002). About 3.7% only of the nation’s land area must be utilized in order to equal the nation’s conventional energy retrieve. The Nigerian Federal Ministry of science and Technology estimates, that the total annual energy consumption of about 21x109kwh could be made by converting only 0.1% of the total solar radiation incident on the country at a conversion efficiency of 1% (Bugaje, 1999).
2.5.2 Solar Energy Electrification for Rural Development in Nigeria
Rural communities cannot boast of electricity, water and other basic facilities that make life worth of living. While some people in cities complain of electric power supply, huge bills from power Holding company in Nigeria villages. There are hundreds of densely populated rural communities that were cut-off from the natural grid and home nearer enjoyed one minute of power supply are now corrected with solar mini off grid power supply.
Solar electric power systems offer an excellent alternative for people who are looking for backup power or stand alone power system for their remote/rural residents, business and community development needs, mosques churches centers and rural homes.
Solar electric power supply is clean, affordable and requires little maintenance. More rural homes in some rural communities in Nigeria have been connected using solar panels especially in Zamfara state. Fig 2.3 illustrates how the solar mini grid works. The micro grid design is ultra-energy efficient, it uses renewable power generation house which consist of solar panels, thus four to five panels are sufficient to power an entire village of 100 households and then use battery bank to generate power during the day which is consumed at night, the light is distributed using poles, there poles usually each carry a street light on it which pass through a village over a short distance then to house hold, each house hold is provided with two to four light emitting Diodes(LED) lights as these villages choose solar power for their electric systems.
Renewable power Battery Bank Power for house
Generation Distribution holds.
Fig 2.1: Solar Mini grid
In remote areas where life far from the nearest National power grid extension or because of the difficulties in reaching them due to weather terrain, then solar is a cost effective for these communities, solar electricity is an effective method for improving health and quality of life in the developing world.
Providing reliable cost effective power for rural villages is a long way to go, this will improve their standard of living for our future generation of Bauch, Benue, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Taraba, Ogun, Zamfarawa, Rivers and Nassarawa. The education tax fund and some few other organizations like United States Development of Energy and Jigawa Alternative Energy Trust fund have sponsored the installation of many pilot solar energy systems for use to various communities across the country.
2.5.3 Sources of Renewable Energy in Enugu State.
The sources of renewable energy in Enugu state include; solar energy, burnass energy, hydro power and wind energy. Enugu state is amongst the south-east states and is located in the derived savanna region (Akinsami, 1991) with typically two seasons (wet and dry). It has 13 local government areas and each local government is richly blessed with natural resources (renewable and non-renewable energy resources). Figure 2.4 shows the countion of Enugu state in Nigeria while figure 2.5 shows the map of Enugu state and the respective local governments (shown in black highlights).
2.5.4 Wind Energy Resources in Nigeria
Wind, which is an effect from the uneven healing of the earth’s surface by the sun and its resultant pressure inequalities, is available at annual average speeds of about 2.0m/s at the coastal region and 4.0m/s at the far northern region of the country. Assuming an air density of 1.1kg/m3, wind energy intensity, perpendicular to the wind direction, ranges between 4.4w/m2 at the coastal areas and 35.2w/m2 at the far northern region.
Wind energy conversion system (wind turbines, wind generators, wind plants, wind machines and wind dynamos) are devices which convert the kinetic energy of the moving air to rotary motion of a shaft, that is, mechanical energy. The technologies for harnessing this energy have over the years been tried in the northern parts of the country, mainly for water pumping from open wells in many secondary schools of old Sokoto and Kano states as well as in Katsina, Bauchi and Plateau states. A 5kw wind electricity conversion system for village electrification has been installed at Sny yan Gidan Gada, in Sokoto state.
Other areas of potential application of wind energy conversion systems in Nigeria are in “green electricity” production for the rural community and for integration into the national grid system. It has been reported that an average annual wind speed of not less than 5m/s at a height of 10m above ground level is the feasible speed for the exploitation of wind energy at today’s cost. Tractors and equipment (T;E) at Division of the united African Company (UAC), at one time, produced wind mills in Nigeria. Promising attempts are been made in Sokoto. Energy research centers (SERC) and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, to develop capability for the production of wind energy technologies (Abubaka S. Sambo. third quarter 2004).
2.5.5 Small Hydro power (SHP) Development in Nigeria
Hydro energy is the use of gravitational force of falling or flowing water to generate electricity thus, hydro power is the largest and most widely form of renewable energy. Hydro power energy potential of Nigeria is high and it currently account for about 29% of the total electricity power supply in Nigeria.
Rural electrification is given high priority in government efforts to increase the standard of living in rural areas, reduce rural-urban migration trends, release other development objectives, however, the three key challenges for rural electrification are:
i. how to provide sustainable energy (electricity) services to the poorest of the poor, who have
ii. no purchasing power to pay for the services?
iii. how to offer the most cost-effective, clean and reliable electricity to those who are currently spending a significant share of their income on energy ?;
iv. how to set up the commercial infrastructure to provide these services