Energy Supply Crisis in Nigeria
Electricity is pivotal to the development of nations. Its use is directly correlated with healthy economic growth (Kaseke & Hosking, 2013). Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa but only about 40% of the people are connected to the energy grid. The people who actually have power experience difficulties around 60% of the time (Aliy, Ramli & Saleh, 2013). The pink lines on the map show the routes the power grid takes and explains why much of Nigeria does not have access to electricity (Global Energy Network Institute, 2014).
Aliyu, Ramli and Saleh, (2013) claim that these blackouts cripple the industrial sector. For example, outages in this area of the world also have implications for the mining industry. When power fails, workers may be trapped in the mines, so as soon as there is a risk of failure the operations are shut down, which leads to economic difficulties (Kaseke & Hosking, 2013). Lack of electricity also causes problems for agriculture. Most irrigation lines are run by electricity, so when the power is cut out then the crop yield decreases, (Kaseke & Hosking, 2013). Nigeria’s energy grid is arguably in crisis due to lack of development. The key to making a more reliable energy sector is to find and use a renewable energy resources, rather than simply relying on the country’s non-renewable resources. The crisis of energy is a complex problem stemming from a variety of issues. This paper will cover role of the government in the electricity problem, the environmental impacts of the current system, the effect on the people who live in Nigeria and the potential solutions to the crisis.
There are approximately 162 million people living in Nigeria. Of these people about 70% them are living below the poverty line of one dollar a day (Ejiogu, 2013). This makes the population at higher risk of having a larger environmental impact on their surroundings because they need the supplies (Middleton, 2013). The people in Nigeria near the oil and natural gas reserves often vandalize or steal oil because they feel like they should have a share in the oil that is coming from their area of the country (US Energy Administration, 2013). In Nigeria the shortfall of electricity leads to the overuse of generators for energy. It is estimated that about 30% of energy is produced in this manner (US Energy Administration, 2013). Currently the only plan the government has in place to help solve the energy crisis is to expand the fossil fuel burning sector (US Energy Administration, 2013). Nigeria has a reputation of having one of the most corrupt governments in the world (Ejiogu, 2012). It is rich in natural resources, which should and does create billions of dollars of revenue, the production of the oil is not shared with the rest of the country. About 70% of people in Nigeria live below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is 21% (Ejiogu, 2012). Alternative forms of energy are not used probably because of availability of oil in Nigeria, as it has the world’s seventh largest oil reserves (Ejiogu, 2012).
Current State of Energy
Energy production in Nigeria: (Percentages taken from Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013)
|Percent of resource used for electricity production||Coal (0.4%)||Oil (24.8%)||Natural Gas (39.8%)||Hydro (35.6%)|
|Benefits||Nigeria has a large natural supply of this fossil fuel making it relativity easy to access and it would be the cheapest resource to develop into energy plants (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011).||Nigeria has a large supply of oil, seventh largest in the world and this makes it readily available for use as a source for electricity (Ejiogu, 2012).||Natural gas is now being mined by unconventional means (‘fracking’) which seems to have greenhouse gas emissions then former means of production. It has less greenhouse gas emissions then coal as well (Hultman, Rebois, Scholten, & Ramig, 2011)||Hydro is more environmentally friendly because it uses a renewable resource that is associated with less greenhouse emissions after initial development (Middleton, 2013).|
|Environmental Impacts||Black carbon emissions are shown to have detrimental effects on the environment because of their light absorbing qualities. The theory is that when black carbon lands on snow and ice, the reflective properties of ice are decreased and more melting occurs (Novakov & Rosen, 2013).||Environmental impacts of oil production can be measured by the energy needed to produce and refine the oil, pipeline sabotage and spills from local residents resulting in water, air and land pollution (US Energy Administration, 2013). This does not even account for the emissions created from burning the oil afterward (Ejiogu, 2013).||Conventional and unconventional mining of natural gas potentially leaks large amounts of methane into the atmosphere which is a strong greenhouse gas emitter (Hultman, Rebois, Scholten, & Ramig, 2011)||Carbon dioxide an methane are emitted from the area holding the water because of the vegetation decay in the area, especially in the first ten years. So for the amount of electricity generated, sometimes the amount of carbon emitted is the same (Middleton, 2013).|
|Barriers||Current policy discourages carbon emissions in Nigeria and there is a movement towards cleaner energy (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013).||The barriers are all in relation to the lack of control that Nigeria has over the area where the oil is produced, causing a lack of access (US Energy Administration, 2013).||No barriers to natural gas as it is easy cheap to produce and Nigeria has a large supply of it.||Hydro power disrupts the water levels of the river and would cause tension with the neighbours of Nigeria. Post building some of the dams flood the surrounding communities (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013).|
Currently Nigeria uses four different types of energy: natural gas, oil, hydro and coal (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013). The energy sector is heavily dependent on petroleum as a method for electricity production which has slowed down the development of alternative forms of energy (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013). Three out of the four above resources used for energy production in Nigeria are linked with increasing greenhouse gas emissions: coal, oil and natural gas, with coal emitting the worst of the three (Middleton 2013). See above table for summary of the environmental impacts of the sources of electricity.
According to the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) the importance of sustainability in energy is: the ability to preserve its use, the importance of energy in living standards and for economic development and the significant impacts that energy systems and processes have had and continue to have on the environment (WCED, 1987). Nigeria needs to invest in sustainable resources because of the obvious signs that it will be strongly impacted by environmental change such as: desertification, droughts, flooding, and water shortages. The biggest blow to Nigeria would be the low-lying areas that contain many of their natural resources being flooded if ocean levels rise as predicted (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). Since further development of hydro-electricity does not seem practical because of the dependence on the seasons for amount of water supply (Ajayi, 2009). Wind energy has potential, but is unreliable for consistent energy supply. Nuclear energy could be a viable solution to the energy problem because of its lack of emissions and reliability. Nigeria also has easy access to the uranium needed for the plants (Ejiogu, 2013).
Current policy is aimed at reducing carbon emission, which is why nuclear energy is appealing in Nigeria (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013). The policy also discourages use of wood fuel as a method of energy production, which is beneficial because it reduces the deforestation and carbon emissions from burning the trees (Aliyu, Ramli & Saleh, 2013). Nigeria currently does not have any policies concerning emission reduction (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011).
Overall Grade for ability to mitigate environmental impact from the energy sector: Nigeria has a poor outlook on climate change and this reflects heavily in their policies surrounding climate change. Nigeria has not developed policies surrounding environmental change. What they have created has done so little for the environment as to be close to meaningless (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). Their overall lack of control over the oil industry and allowing for the vadalizm and theft of oil leading to oil spills along with the poor maintenance of the pipelines also describes a nation that is not conscious of environmental change (US Energy Administration, 2013). Lastly Nigeria has also done proposals to further develop their non-renewable resources as sources for electricity production instead of reducing it (US Energy Administration, 2013). They seem to not care that they are at high risk of being affected by environmental change and are simply going for the cheapest alternative- coal, instead of developing new renewable sources of energy (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). In light of all of these factors I would give Nigeria a grade of “F” (failure) for their ability to deal with their energy crisis and decrease their carbon emissions.
In light of all this, there is a lot of literature surrounding different proposals of what might be done to help Nigeria develop their potential for renewable electricity. Development of the renewable sources energy is important for the future of world. Nigeria has been in an energy crisis for a decade despite numerous attempts to reform the energy sector (Ejiogu, 2012). The only thing that remains is to figure out which energy source is most practical for Nigeria. Development of hydro-electricity does not seem practical because of the dependence on the seasons for amount of water supply (Ajayi, 2009) as well as the amount of greenhouse gases it emits in the first 10 years of being built (Middleton, 2013). Wind energy has potential, but is unreliable for consistent energy supply.
Two fields of arguments:
|Nuclear Energy||Wind Energy|
|Benefits||Increased amount of electricity would be generated, which would grow the local economy (Ejiogu, 2013). Less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels and hydro power (Middleton, 2013).||Wind is shown to be the cleanest form of energy production (World Nuclear Association, 2011).|
|Barriers||Government corruption has led to the cancelling of multiple nuclear energy development contracts. |
• The power plant currently proposed would output around 10% of the country’s power which is twice as much as recommended. • Nuclear energy also requires a stable energy grid to be maintained and that independent off site power is needed, which Nigeria does not have. • Proposed sites for plants are in unstable areas where the Nigerian government does not have control of the workings of the militant groups. (Ejiogu, 2013). || Commercial energy production based on wind is limited because of variation in seasons and the speed of the winds (Ajayi, 2009) • Relativity cheap because of cost reduction every year (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011) • Areas that had high potential for wind turbines are in the north part of Nigeria, which is the area with the least development of the power grid (which can be seen on the map from the Global Energy Network Institute, 2014). (Ajayi, 2009)
The most practical solution was mentioned by Gujba, Mulugetta and Azapagic, (2011). The authors of this article suggested that a harmonization of different forms of energy take place. In their sustainable development scenario they suggested some reliance on renewable energy sources and a slow change from fossil fuels to the renewable energy sources. Since the rural areas are further from the electricity grid and most currently do not have power, each area would become a little hub where they would produce their own power by whatever resource was closest. For example, in the northern areas the mini-grids would work off of wind and solar power energy. Hydropower development would have to increase in order for this to be successful. Winkler, Howells and Baumert (2002) talk about envisioning where a country wants to end up before the development of energy resources. This is a great perspective about how to fix the energy crisis because taking the big picture into account before the development of the sector could include things outside of simply fixing the energy crisis such as: poverty eradication, job creation, reducing carbon emissions etc. Fixing the energy supply will solve many problems such as the over pricing of electricity due to the loss of the electricity within the grid (Winkler, Howells & Baumert, 2002)
In this paper we have discussed a large variety of different issues with the Nigerian energy supply. The corrupt government has led to poor management of the overall system (Ejiogu, 2012). The large amount of natural resources has led Nigeria to try to develop the cheapest, but not most environmentally friendly resources (Ejiogu, 2012). The policies in Nigeria also do not encourage the use of cleaner forms of energy (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). While all of these are happening the people are also in poverty leading to worsening impacts on the environment (Middleton, 2013, US Energy Administration, 2013). All of this bad news leads to a sense of hopelessness over the condition of the electricity grid in Nigeria.
There is hope, though. Nigeria has not developed its energy sector yet, and with the proper policies in place before development it could reduce its emissions while tackling the social problems of employment (Winkler, Howells & Baumert, 2002). It has a lot of potential for clean energy sources all that is needed is a good plan of implementation (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). In the end Nigeria needs to think about its own place in climate change. As a high-risk country that will be affected by the changes of desertification, droughts, flooding, and water shortages (Gujba, Mulugetta & Azapagic, 2011). This country needs to do all it can to mitigate the change in the future.
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Energy Crisis Essay Outline
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Pakistan Energy Sector
- Energy Supply
- Energy Consumption
- 3. Sources of Energy In Pakistan
- Non-Renewable Resources
- Renewable Resources
- Alternative Energy Sources
- 4. Causes of Energy Crisis in Pakistan
- Higher Consumption
- Less supply
- Energy theft
- 5. Recommendations and Solutions
Introduction: Energy is very much essential for all the activities of the daily life and that is why its deficiency can have sever impacts on the lives of the people as well as the economy of the state, and that is why it is considered to be one of the most significant fundamental rights of the people and is the most important obligation of the government to provide the people of the state with the required capacity of the Energy.
Pakistan Energy Sector: Pakistan in one of those countries which don’t have a very well equipped and stable infrastructure of the Energy sector for which it is not developed properly and that is one major Problem of Pakistan and core reason for which the country is facing sever and alarming energy crisis from the past one decade. The Government has not shown some positive intent and instead of planning for new projects of energy generation or from shifting from traditional means to something new and more effective they have relied on imposing the cost of the energy on the local people which has made it very difficult for the locals to pay the bills and hence, the problem is still their existing.
The difference between the demand and the supply of the energy is getting higher and higher which is even making the conditions worse. In the time span of 2009 and 2010 it was being reported that the energy supply per capita availability of energy declined by 0.64% but in the last year which was 2012 the decline has reached to almost 3.09%. in the modern scenario the energy consumption and energy supply gap is increasing by time to time as the current production of the Energy in Pakistan is almost 15,000 to 20,000 Mega Watt but at the same the production is just 11, 500 to 13, 000 Mega Watt so the deficit of 4,000 to 5,000 Mega Watt exists which is considered to be a huge difference.
Pakistan Energy consumption is increasing to a huge extent and that is why it is not just relying on the Electricity as there are a lot of Electricity Crisis in Pakistan too but at the same time which are also contributing in this regard of meeting the shortfall.
Sources of Energy in Pakistan: Pakistan do have the leverage of not only depending on the electricity traditional means of the generation of power and energy but at the same time they have many other sources but the only need is to plan them properly and more practically so that they can be used for the purpose of energy production.
Under the non renewable resources we do have Petroleum products, fossil fuels, Coal, Natural gas as in Pakistan the contribution of various sources of power are as follows;
- Gas: 43.7%
- Oil/Petroleum: 29.0%
- Electricity: 15.3%
- Coal: 10.4%
- LPG: 1.5%
In renewable resources we do have the hydro power system which can be increased and enhanced so that we can meet our demands and the short fall can be decreased.
Current Hydropower stations:
- Tarbella Dam : 3,478 MW
- Ghazi Brotha: 1450 MW
- Mangla 1,000 MW
- Warsak 240 MW
- Chashma 184 MW
Potential Hydropower stations:
- Diamer-Bhasha Dam 4500 MW
- Munda Dam – Swat river in Mohamand Agency 740 MW
- Kalabagh Dam 2400-3600 MW
- Bunji Dam 5400 MW
- Dasu Dam 3800 MW
In the alternate solutions for the meeting the demand and supply gap in Pakistan we need to establish those means of energy production which are not that much common in Pakistan, as in this process we can shift from the traditional means of generating energy, this will also enable us to generate more energy and will also help us to prevent the reserves of the oil and gas in our country. The alternate means of generating energy in Pakistan are;
- Agricultural Biomass and Biodiesel
Causes of Energy Crisis in Pakistan: The major causes and the reason which have contributing in to the power shortfall is the mainly due to the increasing populations, because as simple as that the population is increasing day by day in the state which is definitely increasing the demand of energy and that is increasing the demand to supply gap. Energy theft is also a curse which Pakistan is bearing in which people not only on domestic level but even commercially and industrially are doing energy theft in which they are consuming the energy on high levels but are not paying the concerned department and body for which that all energy is being drained in vein.
Recommendations & Solutions: The solutions of the energy crisis in Pakistan must be implemented and adopted on emergency basis and the main solution to the problem is that the administration should shift to more modernized means of production so that they can increase the level of production and should meet the demand and at the same time the responsibility also lies on the people of the state that they should play their role in reducing the consumption and saving the energy so that Pakistan can be brought out of this alarming situation and from this threatening problem.