From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja
THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a regulation to stimulate investments in 2,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The law, Feed-in Tariff Regulations for Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity in Nigeria was approved at the last regulatory meeting of the Commission. It envisaged that the country would generate at least 1,000 megawatts from renewable energy sources by 2018.
Renewable sources are electricity generated from biomass, small hydro, wind and solar energy sources.
Commenting on the development, the NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi said, “with this regulation, we have been able to unlock further investment potentials in the country’s power sector. Its major objective is to diversify our sources of electricity and take advantage of our options.
He said that the regulation expects electricity distribution companies to procure 50 per cent of the projected renewable sourced electricity, while the Nigerian Bulk electricity Trading Company (NBET) is expected to procure the balance of 50 per cent.
Meanwhile, the regulation specifies the capacity for renewable plant to be between 1mw and 30mw. Plant above the stated threshold will require additional conditions other than those already specified in the regulation.
The provisions of these regulations shall apply to all qualifying renewable energy sourced electricity of capacity above 1megawatts and smaller than 30mw at a site that is connected to the transmission grid or the distribution networks, according to the regulations.
For large renewable plant (30mw above), integrated resource planning will be carried out before the NERC will initiate a competitive bid process.
The buyer will, thereafter, solicit bids and purchase at the most cost effective based on the optimal technology available at the location.
The law allots maximum amount of renewable sourced electricity an electricity distribution can have on its network based optimal potential available in their franchised areas.
This provision of the law is to achieve right mix of energy for the Distribution Company (DISCO) as well as protect electricity consumers from spike in tariff.
For instance, the regulation allots higher volume of biomass 26mw; 22mw and 19mw to Ikeja and Ibadan Electricity and Eko electricity distribution companies respectively; whereas Abuja DISCO has highest of wind sourced electricity at 14.4mw, while Port Harcourt has 11.4 mw of biomass and 6.5mw of wind sourced electricity.
However, Kaduna and Kano Discos have highest allotments of solar sourced electricity than other discos at 12mw; with small hydro at 10mw and biomass at 6mw apiece.
The regulation specifies that provisions of Distribution Code will apply to embedded generation, while Grid Code will apply to those that will use the transmission network to transport their electricity. Embedded generation is a power plant whose electricity is used within the distribution network where it is generated without using the transmission network.
Source : SunOnline