28 january 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Despite the huge challenge in getting gas to power stations across the country, the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi has explained that gas powered turbines remain the best option in the country’s quest to build a strong load base.
Amadi who explained this position in a statement issued by NERC in Abuja noted that while it is imperative to diversify the nation’s energy sources, gas resources are very handy in solving immediate energy need.
According to him, the Ministry of Power has just finished a national power policy on renewables which articulates a framework of gradually increasing the portfolio of renewable energy.
He however, explained that at this stage where the country is still trying to build a strong load base, gas remains the best options, pointing out that although the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, modelled 10 per cent of grid power to be based on renewable, there is presently no renewable power on the grid.
“The challenge over gas seems to suggest that focusing on renewable will be a strategic idea. But we are trying to build a strong load base and renewable will not in the short term be a strong load base for industrial take off. Gas is still the best option.
“There’s investment going on in coal. We have licensed over 2000mw of coal power, but in the short term focus on hydro and gas is Nigeria’s more strategic future,” he stated.
Amadi added that, “The Mambilla project and other big hydros could give us up to 10,000mw in the future. My view is that we have to keep increasing the load base through more investment in gas powered plants and hydro as well as keep encouraging micro entrepreneurs to put in more renewable power projects.”