Nigeria

Facts on solar energy in Nigeria have been provided by solar panel installation experts from this country. For the best advice, please click the Thumbs Up button – the highest voted answers appear at the top! If you have further questions about installing solar energy systems in Nigeria, you can ask the question below and it will be submitted to our experts.

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Solar Suitability
- How suitable is the climate in the country for solar electricity

+67

Nov 21st 2013Solar is a viable resources in Nigeria with insulation levels for poorest region like the south in Nigeria are in the range of 6-8-kvh/m2 not to talk of the northern part which experience more conventional fuel absolutelly all year round of sunny days.

+28

Aug 11th 2016Nigeria have one of the best, and if not the best Sun energy in Africa.... optimal sun shine.

Financial Incentives
- Feed-in tariffs and other government financial incentives

+17

Nov 22nd 2013It is of great importance that we speedily tap into alternative energy sources that are cleaner and safer due to the country’s vulnerability to climate change.

Many Nigerians believe the only way to solve the agelong electricity crisis in the country is through independent power generation, as they have since lost faith in the government’s ability to decisively solve this problem that has significantly stunted the growth of the Nigerian economy for years now. Well it will be difficult to blame people trying to meet basic electricity supply needs and also keep businesses running without much hassle.

As we now know the environmental threats and inconveniences power generators cause, it is quite encouraging to see some effort from the government, research institutes and private stakeholders on the development of alternative energy sources for power generation. Solar energy, which is the most abundant of all the available renewable energy sources, has been making raves of late and I believe it is about time we started taking the prospects of this energy source more seriously.

Considering the current issues with unbundling the power sector, deregulation and increase in generating capacity, we can begin to pick some positives from the evident change in approach by some factions of the government regarding solar energy. Do not get me wrong, Nigeria’s interest in solar energy dates back to decades ago but the subsequent effect before now has been drastically minimal.

ENCOURAGING PROSPECTS

Besides the abundant oil and gas resources that we currently hold, Nigeria is still fortunate to be situated in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region described by the International Council for Science as having the world’s best solar resources.  Nigeria has 485.1million MWh/day of solar energy in natural units and we enjoy an average of 6.2 hours of daily sunshine. Despite this, approximately over 60% of Nigeria’s 170 million people lack access to electricity supply. Our main sources of electricity come from hydro and gas and we currently have an installed capacity of 5,600MW of electricity but generate less than 5000MW due to a myriad of issues.

The use of solar electricity systems aids the capture of solar energy using photovoltaic (PV) cells which convert the sunlight into electricity. This resource has been found to have the capability of providing more power than all the fossil fuels we currently hold if properly harnessed and used to generate green and cheap electricity. Eventually, it can play a part in reducing our huge dependence on fossil fuels like crude and gas for power generation.

CRITICAL CHALLENGES         

According to the United Nations, rural-urban migration in Sub-Saharan Africa will have increased by 87% in 2030 from the 1950s. Putting Nigeria in mind, this will definitely mount more pressure on the existing electricity infrastructure which has not been significantly improved for decades now despite the government’s target to generate 297, 900MW in the year 2030.

One of the key challenges in investing in solar energy is the initial capital outlay which is high. According to reports, solar panels are expensive to install and maintain. Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, the former FCT minister was quoted as saying it costs up to N500, 000 per panel and another source says it costs up to N200, 000 to maintain. Nonetheless, more recently, the cost of solar technology has reduced by 40% in the last two years.  Our neighbours Ghana last December announced plans to build the biggest PV solar power plant in Africa generating 155MW and will increase its generating capacity by 6%.  According to Blue Energy, the UK firm behind this deal, the reduction in costs and an enabling feed-in tariff policy played a key role in helping the project kick off.

Another challenge being faced in the use of this energy source is the maintenance and day to day running of the solar infrastructure. There appears to be insufficient personnel with the technical wherewithal to manage these facilities and ensure they are running up to speed.  In 2005, there was a remarkable feat achieved by the Lagos State government in solar energy installations when a rural solar electrification project was launched at Onisowo Village in the Amuwo –Odofin Local government Area- a village that was cut off from the national grid.  In the past two decades, states like Zamfara, Bauchi, Benue, Bayelsa and Rivers have also partnered with the World Bank and the Energy Commission of Nigeria to carry out similar projects in rural communities across the country.  Despite the complaints on the efficiency and maintenance of these facilities, we have seen that we have the capability to put these structures in place which we can pick positives from and definitely build on.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is of great importance that we speedily tap into alternative energy sources that are cleaner and safer due to the country’s vulnerability to climate change. Since we have established existing and growing interest in this technology, the government needs to assist significantly in funding domestic solar energy research in research institutes and universities.  Government subsidies will also be helpful in the importation of solar panels and other equipments that cannot be manufactured locally. This will support independent investors and individuals who have interest in the energy source.

Borrowing from the UK’s feed-in tariff concept, the government can also encourage independent electricity generation through solar panels by providing more incentives for consumers and suppliers who choose to invest in this source. It will always be soothing to the ear when you know you will get rewarded for generating your own electricity.  Installing and understanding this infrastructure is still considered by many as technical and expensive, but through extensive awareness programmes and public and private sector initiatives, this process can be simplified and will eventually become cheaper to install and use in the long run.

Finally, on affordability, Nigerians have shown that they can invest money on power generation when presented with a better alternative.  We can see the percentage of people using power generators and inverters in both rural and urban cities in Nigeria which gives us a picture of how they will handle the prospect of solar energy if the installation process is simplified and equipments are cheaper and readily available.

+2

Aug 11th 2016not applicable 

Planning Requirements
- Government regulations relating to installations of solar power systems on homes and commercial buildings

+6

Nov 22nd 2013The organisation responsible for electricity production and supply in Nigeria is the National Electric Power Authority, known as NEPA.

Nigeria has 5900 MW of installed generating capacity, however, the country is only able to generate 1600 MW because most facilities have been poorly maintained. The country has proven gas reserves and around 8 000 MW of hydro development has been planned. Nigeria has plans to increase access to electricity throughout the country to 85% by 2010. This would call for 16 new power plants, approximately 15 000km of transmission lines, as well as distribution facilities.

Nigeria's power sector has high energy losses (30 - 35 % from generation to billing), a low collection rate (75 - 80 %) and low access to electricity by the population (36 %). There is insufficient cash generation because of these inefficiencies and NEPA is consequently reliant on fuel subsidies and funding of capital projects by the government.

At present only 10 % of rural households and 40 % of the country’s total population have access to electricity. The Nigerian Energy Commission and the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria have been tasked with generating a solar-powered solution for the remote rural dwellers not served by the national power grid.

Nigeria exports electricity to neighbouring Niger via a 132 kV interconnection constructed in 1976.

The Nigerian government is in the process of privatising existing facilities.

It has been reported that NEPA is to be split into 30 units to facilitate its privatisation. The current NEPA is to be broken into smaller units to make it more manageable and attractive to investors. The government is seeking independent power producers to generate and sell electricity to NEPA.

Declining electricity generation from a number of domestic power plants sent the country into an energy crisis during 2000/2001. President Obasanjo introduced a number of measures to ensure that a consistent supply of power was available by the end of 2001.

The country's electrical power demand is high but actual generation is considerably below demand. As a result, Nigeria has experienced an energy supply crisis in recent years. The country is looking towards further development of the country’s hydropower resources to curtail the crisis.

Nigeria holds proven gas reserves and around 8 000 MW of hydropower development has been planned. Nigeria hopes to increase access to electricity throughout the country to 85% by 2010. It has been estimated that this development would require 16 new power plants, approximately 15 000km of transmission lines, as well as distribution facilities. Nigeria regularly exports electrical power to neighbouring Niger, and though, the country experiences regular power failures, several large thermally fired power plants have been scheduled for retrofitting.
Phillips Oil Company (Nigeria), Nigerian Agip Oil Company and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company have 20, 20 and 60 % stakes in a new independent power project planned for Kwale. The project, called Oil Mining Lease (OML) 60, makes use of Nigeria's natural gas reserves and should help to eliminate gas flaring in the country. The total project cost is US$ 425 million and is planned for completion before 2004.

The World Bank agreed in principle in 1998 to finance a $30 million project to renovate the old 21 MW diesel power station near Port Harcourt. Additional funding is likely to be provided by NEPA.

The World Bank has also approved a US$100 million credit to Nigeria for its Transmission Development Project, aimed at addressing inefficiencies in the power transmission and dispatch sub-sectors. The project will involve the restructuring of NEPA, establishing a Transmission and System Operation Company with private sector participation, removing transmission network and system operations constraints to the provision of a stable power supply and developing an efficient wholesale power market. The World Bank's lending arm, the International Development Association has financed the US$100 million credit on standard terms of 35 years maturity, including 10 years grace.

The Transmission Development Project should help to ease immediate power supply constraint on economic growth and will contribute to a new restructured power sector, reversing the current drain on the national budget.

The government has entered into an estimated $800 milliondeal with US-based Enron and its Nigerian partners, Yinka Folawiyo Power Limited to build a 560 MW plant. In the first phase, Enron will generate 90 megawatts from two barges at Ijora. During the second phase, due to commence in October 1999, Enron will finance, build, own and operate a new 560-megawatt gas turbine power plant to be located at Morogbo, near Agbara. Enron will also be expected to finance, build, own and operate a 280-km 24-inch offshore natural gas pipeline to supply Independent Power Plants (IPPs). It is expected that the project will be completed in 2001.

A subsidiary of AES Corporation has acquired a majority interest in a barge-mounted electric generating business in Lagos. The investment is US$ 225 million and will secure AES with majority share in the 290 MW plant. Power from the plant will be sold to NEPA.

Eskom Enterprises, the commercial arm of South African power utility Eskom, is to roll-out a 380 kilometer transmission line between three Nigerian towns. A deal has reportedly been signed between Eskom Enterprises and NEPA for the 330kV transmission line that will run between the towns of Gombe and Yola, and Yola and Jaling in Nigeria's western regions.

The Lagos State Independent Power Project (IPP) has injected 90 MW into the national grid through the commission of the project’s first phase in 2001. The second phase will add a further 270 MW of capacity. The project uses gas-powered barges moored at the station to generate power.

The southern Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom has signed a US$ 1.5 billion deal with China for the construction of an oil refinery and a power plant. Petroleum products from the refinery will be exported to other West African countries and to Europe. The power plant should also provide the state, which has experienced frequent outages in the past, with a reliable source of power. The refinery and power plant should both be complete by the end of 2003.

Part of the country’s plans to rehabilitate the electrical power sector has been to increase power production facilities. With this in mind, Agip of Italy is constructing a 450 MW plant in the town of Kwale at a cost of US$ 240 million. ENRON is constructing a 270 MW plant for US$ 800 million. Siemens of Germany have planned a 276 MW power plant. Finally, Exxon Mobil have been granted permission to construct and operate a 350 MW plant in Rivers State in the south.

Eskom Enterprises has also been awarded a contract by NEPA to install 1300 kilometres of fibre optic cable on Nigeria’s powerlines.

The Nigerian government awarded a US$ 110 million contract to Siemens Limited for the construction of a gas-turbine plant in Afam. The project will add 279 megawatts to NEPA's existing supply.

ENI, an Italian oil and energy company, signed an agreement with the NNPC to add 450 MW to the national grid. The new gas-fired power plant will be located in the area of Kwale, in the Niger Delta. The project will guarantee power to the southern part of Nigeria via a 330 000 volt aerial line, also constructed as part of the project, which will connect the station to the Onitcha electric hub. The project has an estimated cost of US$ 312 million and is expected to take 30 months to complete.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the building of a number of open cycle gas turbine plants some of which have been co-financed by the Chinese Government. With the construction of Geregu (414MW), Omotosho (335MW), Papalanto (335MW) and Alaoji (346MW) power plants and additional electrical power generation expected from independent power producers (IPP), Nigeria has hoped to increase power generation to above 10,000 MW by 2007.

+2

Aug 11th 2016not effective in Nigeria yet

Return on Investment
- What sort of return on investment can homeowners installing a solar power system expect

+11

Nov 22nd 2013the most important point to know in installing a solar system is that the investment is high but the operational cost is low or relatively zero, which some degree of returns on any solar project within 5 years and a solar system can last for 25 years.    

+3

Aug 11th 2016optimal returns

Grid Connection
- Overview of the process to get a rooftop solar power system connected to the grid

+5

Nov 22nd 2013In the past, most homes with solar electric
systems were not connected to the local utility
grid. It made sense to install solar electric
systems in areas without easy assess to the
power grid, where the option of extending a
power line from the grid might cost tens of
thousands of dollars.
In recent years, however, the number of
solar-powered homes connected to the local
utility grid has increased dramatically. These
“grid-connected” buildings have solar electric
panels or “modules” that provide some
or even most of their power, while still being
connected to the local utility.
Owners of grid-connected homes can
choose to supply a portion of their energy
with solar energy, using the utility for power
during the night or on cloudy days. Because
of the up-front costs of installing a solar
electric system, many of these homeowners
initially install systems that meet about onequarter
to one-half of their energy use.
Net metering
Grid-connected systems generally use a
billing process called “net metering” or “net
billing.” In this process, any energy generated
by the solar modules that your home does
not use immediately is sent to the utility grid.
However, when the solar electric system is
producing less power than is needed, you
can draw additional power from the grid. If
your system is connected to the grid through
a single electric meter, your meter can actually
run backwards as you contribute excess
energy to the utility. The excess electricity is
being credited to you at the same retail rate
as the electricity you use from the utility.
Your utility may require the use of two
meters—one that meters your consumption
of energy from the grid and the other that
meters your contribution to the grid. In this
case, your solar-generated excess energy
could be credited at the retail rate or possibly
at a lower wholesale rate, depending on
the utility.
In addition, some utilities bill their customers
according to a “time-of-use” rate
system. Under this system, customers are
billed at a higher rate during certain times
of the day, such as during the sunniest daytime
hours of summer when air conditioners
are working at their peak. If this is the case
with your utility, you may be able to “trade”
your excess energy to the utility at these
same rates. You can therefore benefit from
the fact that your solar electric modules
produce the most power during those sunny
summer days. When you need power from
the utility during the off-peak periods, such
as in the evening, the rate is usually lower.
If you choose to have a grid-connected
solar electric system, and your system produces
enough energy in any given month so
that you do not have to draw from the grid,
you may still receive a small monthly bill. Thisis because many utilities charge monthly fees
for meter reading. Again, check with your
local utility.
Connecting to the grid
One of the most important steps in purchasing
a grid-connected solar electric system
is choosing a provider with experience. A
good provider will also have a properly
licensed electrical contractor, have enough
years of experience to have demonstrated an
ability to work with customers, and be able
to compete effectively with other firms.
A good provider should be familiar with
your local utility’s regulations on interconnection
requirements. If your provider is not
familiar with these requirements, check with
your local utility, state energy office, or state
or local Public Utility Commission for details.
Your solar electric provider should supply
you with everything you need to run your
system, including a specific type of inverter
for grid-connected systems, batteries (if you
want backup power), and a special electric
meter. As mentioned already, some utilities
require you to have one electric meter that
runs both forward and backward. Other utilities
require two separate meters: one for
incoming power you receive, and one for
power you generate that goes back into the
system. These meters are sometimes paid for
by the utility, but may be part of your
provider’s price for the system.
As part of the installation of your solar
electric system, you will need to sign an
interconnection agreement with the utility
company. Your solar electric provider may be
able to handle the negotiations and paperwork
with the utility, but this contractual
agreement is between you and your local
utility. Be sure to read the fine print in this
agreement, which may differ considerably
from one utility to another. It could range
from a short one-page statement to a
lengthy booklet. In either case, the fine print
may contain references to liability issues that
you will want to fully understand before
signing the contract.
Also, be sure to speak with your homeowner’s
insurance provider, because the solar
electric system itself will need to be added
to your policy. In many cases, you may have
to add a rider to your policy for the gridconnected
system.
More information
Contact your local utility for more information
about its particular practices. The
general customer service representatives may
not be familiar with net metering, so several
phone calls may be necessary to find the
correct contact person. Your solar electric
provider should also have more information.
To learn about local incentives in your
area, go to the national Database of State
Incentives for Renewable Energy (www.
dsireusa.org). This Web site also includes
rules, regulations, and policies for many
areas across the nation.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network
(EREN) has compiled a list of state energy
contacts (see www.eren.doe.gov/state_energy).
These contacts may be able to assist you
with problems you may be having with your

+2

Aug 11th 2016we install off grid in major areas of africa ... Nigeria national grid electricity operator does not provide means for grid tie solar energy installation till date

Recommended Sites
- Useful non-commercial solar websites for homeowners and businesses that want to learn more

+7

Nov 22nd 2013www.nrel.gov
www.installerinfo.com
www.solarcity.com/learn/solar-faqs.asp
www.eere.energy.gov/solarchallenge
us.sunpowercorp.com
www.solarpowerworldonline.com
theenergycollective.com
www.in.gov

+3

Aug 14th 2016Www.debzaccholkonsult.com

Other Benefits
- Eg. Energy Performance Certificate benefits for homes in UK

+6

Nov 22nd 2013Overview
To get Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) at the standard rate for solar PV your property needs to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of band D or better.

If you have an EPC which shows that your property is a band E, F or G you will need to carry out energy efficiency improvements before you apply for the FITs or receive the FIT at the lower rate of 7.1p/kWh for the lifetime of the tariff, currently 20 years.

If you have no EPC, you can use the tools on this website to get an indication of the EPC band for your property and suggestions of what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your property to gain a higher EPC band rating, before you pay to get an EPC done. 

Details
New rules on the payment of FITs for solar PV installations came into force on 1 April 2012. From that date you are required to send to your FITs supplier an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing that your property has an EPC band D or better at the time of your application to get the standard rate of FITs rather than the lower rate.

If your property is a band E or less when you first apply for FITs then you will receive the FIT at the lower rate. Note that even if you improve your property’s EPC band to a D or higher at a later date you will still get the lower rate.

This requirement applies only to new solar PV systems and extensions of existing solar PV systems with an eligibility date on or after 1 April 2012. This is not a retrospective requirement for existing solar PV systems. At a later date these requirements may also apply to wind turbines and micro-CHP (both currently under consultation).

Why is this now a requirement?
This new requirement has been introduced by the UK Government wants to ensure that homes meet minimum standards of energy efficiency before it encourages the installation of solar PV. The UK Government states that this is because reducing demand for energy is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions and therefore a process that should be prioritised before installing microgeneration technologies such as solar PV: “Currently, around 51% of all dwellings are rated at EPC level D or above, and 47% of all dwellings except flats (this compares to 13% of dwellings at EPC level C or above)."

What is an EPC?
Much like the multi-coloured sticker on new appliances, EPCs tell you how energy efficient a building is and give it a rating from A (very efficient) to G (inefficient). They let the person using the building know how costly it is likely to be to heat and power, and what carbon dioxide emissions there will be. Once produced, EPCs are valid for ten years. The EPC will also state what the energy efficiency rating could be if improvements are made, and highlights cost-effective ways to achieve a better rating.

Find out more about EPCs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Find out more about EPCs in Scotland.
Find out more details of EPCs at the Directgov website.
How do I get an EPC?
Existing EPC

If you bought or rented your property after 1 October 2008 you should have received an EPC from the builder (for a new construction), seller or landlord when you bought or rented your property. If you did not receive one, you can report this to your local trading standards at the Trading Standards Institute website. They can issue a fixed penalty notice of £200, but to meet the requirements of the FIT you will have to proceed on the basis that you have no EPC.

If you have an EPC it will state on the first page under the table headed ‘Energy Efficiency Rating’ the current and potential band rating of your property. For an example of what this might look like, download a sample EPC from the DCLG website.

If the current rating of your property is a band D or better and your EPC certificate is less than 10 years old then you need take no further action in order to receive the FIT at the standard rate, other than sending the EPC Certificate to your FIT licensee when you register your installation.
If you have an EPC which shows that your property is a band E, F or G you will need to carry out energy efficiency improvements before you apply for the FITs or receive the FIT at the lower rate for the lifetime of the tariff, currently 20 years.
Lost EPC

If you have had an EPC but have lost the certificate, you will need to contact the Approved Organisation whose member produced the original EPC:

Approved Organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the Landmark website.
Approved Organisations in Scotland at the Scottish Government website.
No existing EPC

A good way to get an indication of the likely EPC band rating of your property is to complete our free online Home Energy Check (HEC). If you use this tool you will be asked a number of questions about your property which are then used to generate a report.

BUT please note that the Home Energy Check the report is not valid as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and if you obtain an EPC for your property you may obtain a different rating to that given in the report. The HEC report is intended for general guidance only and not as a substitute for the application of professional expertise. The Energy Saving Trust cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or other liability resulting from its use.

The only way to be sure of the EPC banding of your property is to pay for a visit from a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) for an EPC to be produced. The downside of this is that you may need to pay for two EPCs if your property is not already a band D or better: one to find out and one after the improvements have been carried out. Some DEAs may be prepared to create a draft report for you and then wait until the new measures have been completed before amending and submitting it - check this with your chosen DEA. If improvements are necessary your DEA should be able to advise you which of those recommended will be necessary to take your property to a band D and which will take you beyond that.

The cost of an EPC varies, but is usually in the region of £50 to £100 plus VAT. You may want to request an estimate from an EPC provider before commissioning an EPC.

How to reach EPC band D
If you already have an EPC: 

the EPC will set out the potential energy efficiency rating of your property if you undertake the measures recommended on the summary at page 3. These will give you a good indication of the measures that you need to take to improve the energy efficiency of your property although the measures recommended may take you beyond what is required to achieve a band D.
To get an idea of what band your property might be in, use our Home Energy Check as suggested above. You can go back as many times as you like to enter new improvements and get an idea of whether you have improved your rating.

If you don’t have an EPC, for some homes (for example, a detached property with solid walls) it may be prohibitively expensive and impracticable to bring your property up to an EPC band D. At the moment, this requirement only appolies to solar PV so you might want to consider other renewable energy technologies. Use our Home Energy Generation Selector to find out what might suit your needs.

Will installing solar PV increase the EPC rating?

Yes. There are a number of ways to get a property up to an EPC band D rating, including the installation of solar PV, though this will depend on factors such as property type. However, for the sake of an application, the FIT licensee will require that the property has a level D or higher before the eligibility date to receive the higher tariff.

In most cases, this means that you can install the panels, get a new EPC and then submit your application with the EPC to get the higher rate. However, if you are extending an existing installation by adding more panels, then the rules are different. For an extension, the eligibility date is always the commissioning date for the new panels. This means you have to get your EPC done before you fit the panels, which means the additional panels cannot contribute to your EPC rating for the purposes of getting the higher rate – though the original panels will contribute to the rating.

+1

Aug 11th 2016Not applicable

can grid-tie solar pv plant of 10mw be installed in nigeria

Sep 4th 2016 by matamba2@gmail.com

+2

Sep 5th 2016it is achieveable sir , as long as we have access to facility..

Please what is the solar panel generation factor in Abuja, Lagos and Calabar all in Nigeria

+4

Aug 9th 2016Dear user ,
Please bear in mind that solar generation factor intensity in the northern part of Nigeria, is determined by the daily climate change... compared to some other parts of Nigeria which are rain forest area...

Will a portable solar be a good business in Nigeria considering the current economy challenges that is facing Nigeria.

Jun 25th 2016 by shutrak@consultant.com

+2

Aug 14th 2016It should be, depending on market projection 

Questions for Experts

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