| By Anayo Ezugwu |
THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that the country generated average of 2,548 gigawatt per hour GWH, of electricity during fourth quarter of 2016. According to the latest data published on the website of the NBS, Egbin Power Plant contributed about 12.47 percent share of the average energy generated, the highest among the 25 power plants within the period under review.
A breakdown of the NBS data revealed that daily energy generation attained a peak of 3,859.59MW on October 15th, while daily energy sent out was 3,798.16 megawatts, MW. Similarly, the highest daily output per hour peaked at 92,630MWH also on October 15th with 91,156 megawatts hour (MWH) sent out.
However, the lowest daily electricity production of 2,522MW was attained on October 28, 2016, when energy sent out was 2,472 MW, while the lowest daily generation per hour was also attained same day with 60,546 MWH and 59,328 MWH was sent out.
In November, daily generation was much higher with a peak of 3,707.09MW achieved on the 22nd, and daily energy sent out was 3,644.86MW. Also, the highest daily electricity output per hour in the month was 88,970MWH and 87,477,156 MWH sent out.
But daily power production dropped to its lowest of 2,685.26 on the 24th with 2,640.99MW sent out, where the lowest daily per hour was 2,640.99MW, while the lowest daily generation per hour was 64,446 MWH and 63,384MWH sent out.
The bureau could only provide statistics for power generation from December 1 to 4, during which daily output peaked at 3,197.03MW on the 1st and 3,153.86MW sent out. The highest daily per hour was same day with 76,729MWH and 75,693 MWH sent out. On the other hand, the lowest daily generation was on the 4th with 2,737.34MW and the lowest sent out 2,691.70MW, where the lowest daily per hour was 65,696 MWH and 64,601 MWH sent out.
The transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, the system operator, allocates the power generated to the 11 distribution companies, Discos, in the country based on their respective networks capacities for onward supply to homes and business. But due to technical losses associated with weak transmission grid, not all the output was allocated, as the NBS data indicated that an average of 2,497GWH of energy was sent out during the period, with Okpai Power Plant recording the highest percentage average of 12.13 percent.
The TCN have also identified the inadequate funding as one of the major challenges militating against prompt transmission of power across the federation. Abubakar Atiku, managing director, TCN, enumerated other hiccups to include evacuation bottlenecks, menace of erosion of tower bases, violation of transmission right of ways, ageing workforce, lack of adequate technical manpower at various work centres, obsolete substation equipment and overloaded transmission lines and substations.
The list also had control of the grid which is still largely manual, inadequate infrastructure coverage, limited funds for developmental projects, slow performance by contractors, unpredictable energy sources, the gape disparity between energy supply and demand, inadequate telecommunication facilities and control aids which limit operational effectiveness and low voltage in the north due to concentration of power stations in the south.
He explained that the effects of evacuation bottlenecks, which include generation-transmission interface constraints, transmission substation capacity constraints, transmission wheeling constraints and transmission-distribution interface constraints, lead to other problems such as load shedding, voltage/frequency instability, stranded power and system collapse.
Atiku particularly lamented that the inadequate funding of the power agency was seriously hampering its operations, saying of the N30 billion approved for it in the 2016 budget, only N20 billion was released in the second and third quarters of the year.
— Feb 13, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT