The huge potential for renewable energy in the country is mostly untapped. Barriers to the development of renewables include: the large oil and gas production in the South together with government fuel subsidies, the lack of clarity/market information on private sector opportunities, and a general knowledge gap concerning financial support mechanisms available within the country.
Nigeria has enormous solar energy potential, with fairly distributed solar radiation averaging 19.8 MJm2/day and average sunshine hours of 6h/day. The assumed potential for concentrated solar power and photovoltaic generation is around 427,000 MW. According to estimates, the designation of only 5% of suitable land in central and northern Nigeria for solar thermal would provide a theoretical generation capacity of 42,700 MW. In July 2016, 14 Greenfield Independent photovoltaic (PV) power projects with a capacity of 1,125MW had their PPAs signed by the Federal Government owned NBET.
Global Horizontal Solar Irradiation in Nigeria
Hydropower has been a cornerstone of grid-powered generation in Nigeria for decades. 15% of current power generation sources in the country are hydro based. The country is reasonably endowed with large rivers and some few natural falls. In all parts of Nigeria, potential sites for unexploited small hydropower exist, with an estimated total capacity of 3,500 MW. A multitude of river systems, providing a total of 70 micro dams, 126 mini dam and 86 small sites, supply a technically exploitable large hydropower potential estimated to be about 11,250 MW. Under recent circumstances, only 17% is being tapped. Potential large investments in some significant hydropower sources and even some plans, such as the dam for the Mambilla plateau in northern Nigeria, have been struggling due to large investments cost required and lead times needed. The potential for small hydro power is about 3,500 MW, with just about 64.2 MW being exploited. By 2020, the Nigerian government aims to have increased the hydroelectricity generation capacity to 5,690 MW. This projection shall be met through an upgrade of old hydroelectricity plants and the installation of new hydro power plants.
Hydro Power development by the Federal Ministry of Power (2014)
|Power Station||Capacity (MW)||Status|
|Zungeru project||700||financing secured|
|Mambilla Project||3050||under development|
|Gurara II Project||360||under development|
|Gurara I Project||30||under development|
|Itisi Project||40||under development|
|Kashimbilla Project||40||under development|
River Basins with large and small scale hydropower potentials
The Wind energy potential in Nigeria is very modest, with annual average speeds of about 2.0 m/s at the coastal region and 4.0 m/s at heights of 30m in the far northern region of the country. Based on wind energy resource mapping carried out by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Wind speed of up to 5m/s were recorded in the most suitable locations, which reveals only a moderate and local potential for wind energy. The highest wind speeds can be expected in the Sokoto region, the Jos Plateau, Gembu and Kano / Funtua. From the study, Maiduguri, Lagos and Enugu also indicated fair wind speeds, sufficient for energy generation by wind farms. Apart from these sites, other promising regions with usable wind potential are located on the Nigeria western shoreline (Lagos Region) and partly on the Mambila Plateau.
A 10MW wind farm projects is currently being built in Katsina, and expected to be completed in 2017.