Energy, Power Management: A Save for Advancing Economic Activities

At the launch of Power Africa in 2013, President Barack Obama declared, “Access to electricity is fundamental to opportunity in this age. It’s the light that children study by; the energy that allows an idea to be transformed into a real business. And it’s the connection that’s needed to plug Africa into the grid of the global economy. You’ve got to have power.”

But to date, the Nigerian electrical power sector remains in need of significant investment as its utility-scale of electricity generation capacity continues to fall short of meeting domestic demands. Currently, Nigeria has an installed electricity generation capacity for supply to the national grid of about 25, 000 MVA, with an available capacity of only approximately 5,000 MW to meet the needs of Nigeria’s population of more than 200 million people and a country with a GDP growth rate of 3.8%. In comparison, South Africa has an installed electricity generation capacity for supply to the national grid of over approximately 50,000 MW and a population of only about one-third the size of Nigeria’s.
At the end of January 2016, the demand for electricity in Nigeria was estimated to be 12,800 MW. The historic gap between the demand for power in Nigeria and the electricity available from the grid has led to widespread self-generation of power in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors; many individuals and businesses own their generators to compensate for the lack of access to and supply of energy. Businesses’ reliance on self-generation via diesel-powered generators has resulted in not only environmental impacts that using cleaner fuels could reduce but also an increase in the price of goods and services. This is because, typically, self-generation accounts for a significant portion of most businesses’ recurrent expenditure. Such significant overhead costs are clearly being passed to consumers.
The historically low level of investment in Nigeria’s power sector has been a significant barrier to private investment in the country, having been stalled for various reasons, including gas shortage, drawn-out negotiations, court actions, and delays in executing gas supply agreements, which have all affected projects’ bankability as banks and investors are reluctant to invest either debt or equity into projects, given the high level of uncertainty and risks.
Nigeria’s power is today among the lowest in the world. To date, much of Nigeria’s installed capacity is unavailable. Current electricity generation is primarily either gas-fired or hydropower plants, natural gas is the main fuel source for power generation in Nigeria. The power-generation potential from domestic gas reserves in Nigeria was greater than 10,000 MW, which is relatively higher than the potential from domestic gas reserves in other African jurisdictions but still falls significantly short of meeting the levels stated above. There has also been a recent upsurge of interest in solar power projects. By 10 November 2015, NBET indicated that it was negotiating a total of about eight PPAs with solar power developers whose projects were at different phases. The power sector has elicited high investment interest since privatization, and many developers have secured generation licenses from NERC (as required) but due to varied reasons, including securing financing, none of the greenfield IPPs have commenced operations.

Challenges Facing the Nigerian Energy/Power Sector

The Nigerian power sector experiences many broad challenges related to electricity policy enforcement, regulatory uncertainty, gas supply, transmission system constraints, and major power sector planning shortfalls that have kept it from reaching commercial viability. Plans for renewable energy integration, complete development of over 14 solar plants, investment in new grid infrastructure to facilitate the integration of intermittent sources, and integration of mini-grids into the DisCos’ networks to supply power to underserved areas are yet to be realized.

Also, a problem is the continued use of aged equipment, poor maintenance culture, corruption, looting of power sector reform funds, shortage of gas supply for thermal plants, high level of unpaid electricity bills, and the outdated and poorly maintained transmission network still owned by the government but placed under private management in 2012 remain accountable for the dwindling electrical power supply in Nigeria.

Energy/Power Management

Managing energy and power in our homes and organizations is important. Good power and energy management reduces the portion of national and household income spent in order to acquire energy. It frees up more funds for other advancing economic activities. Effective and efficient use of energy and power resources remains a key factor in the industrialization of any entity serving more people. It also saves utility costs spent on energy and power. Energy management is, therefore, more than necessary, being always scarce like oher resources, bearing in mind that Nigeria is even in a situation where generated electricity is not enough to cater for one-fifth of its population notwithstanding government efforts at addressing the problem.

With the importance of electricity in the industrialization of a country and its development, tackling energy poverty remains to be accorded some seriousness, including resorting to Energy Management. Just about 12 % is used by the industrial sector known to be driving the economy while 79% is expended on residences, the population of the country being over 200 million and generation hardly more than 5,000 MW.

As Government’s focus on the residential turns towards economic transformation, there is a need for re-appraisal of the country’s energy sector, focusing on the management of its abundant, yet untapped energy resources. As efforts are made to effectively generate electricity, energy management has to be evolved to see us out of the crisis.

Concept of Energy/Power Management

Energy like every other resource is subject to efficient management thus leading to the widespread use of the term energy management. Although energy management has a broader concept, it is synonymous with energy conservation and efficiency. The deployment of energy services that brings economic, social, and environmental benefit to humanity has instituted a new wave of agenda in human history; the level of energy consumption of a people is now considered a fundamental index for measuring development. Today energy management is at the Centre of national and international objectives not only because of saving “energy bills” but for its role in the management of climate change and sustainable development. In the light of managing energy, scientists developed a management system for the energy process. Known as the Energy Management System (EMS), it deals with the management of such products that are useful to save energy and they include eco-friendly or green products. From another perspective, the energy management system strategy is adjusting and optimizing.

The energy companies are dogged by an increasingly complex environment. There is price volatility, changing investment drivers, fiscal regime, and uncertain regulatory structures alongside skilled labor shortages. There is also a general rise in cost, just as there are higher stakeholder expectations, impacting the oil & gas and power sectors, making them face these challenges and the need for us all to take on an advisory on how best to manage our power and energy.

In Nigeria, we don’t lack advisors. SSAC Advisory and Professionals has that capability. It has enormous potential, being a leading advisor in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas industry for decades, providing business solutions and addressing the numerous difficulties of the industry.
It has the zeal also to provide budget-neutral solutions to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, stabilize volatile prices, and achieve corporate sustainability. Apart from strategic electric and natural gas purchasing, it could evolve the efficiency and sustainability initiatives that may help to reduce your overall expenses and provide a timely ROI and long-term energy savings. It also has the capacity to develop for you a turn-key plan, get funding opportunities, and tax incentives, and establish benchmarks for projects’ success.

SSAC Advisory and Professionals could even provide you recommendations and professional project management that would assure optimal energy efficiency, being mostly concerned with what will be the right application for the client and develop a customized solution based on its business energy audit of your facility. SSAC is continuously evaluating new technology advancements and offers lighting solutions, including the latest energy-efficient lamps, fixtures, and sensors to add to a building or to tackle new construction projects.
With electric and natural gas markets remaining complex, SSAC works as a partner, keeping you up to date and informing you about changes in the market that could affect your energy management strategy. It gives detailed account analyses, constant communication, and weekly energy market updates.

Knowing also that business energy costs is one of the top five operating costs for many organisations, SSAC takes the time to understand your needs, having the track record of successfully serving clients with commercial energy management needs. With a strategic approach to energy management, SSAC Advisory and Professionals is capable of assisting your organisation with navigating business energy supply and exploring energy conservation and efficiency measures.

Business energy decisions can have a big impact on your bottom line. Strategic business energy procurement and management can provide business owners and managers tools to begin to take control of rising costs. By effectively implementing a long-term hedging strategy business, energy costs can be significantly reduced and SSAC has the quality to make this process as seamless and clear as possible, realising that energy costs are an essential consideration as you grow and manage your business. It helps you identify the most efficient energy saving opportunities, aware that regardless of the investment, you must balance the project cost against the savings opportunity. The quickest path to energy savings is right overhead – your lighting.

SSAC has the technical expertise to optimise your energy consumption and reduce overall operational costs. Lighting retrofits are generally recognised as one of the best returns on your capital investment that you can make. Lighting represents roughly 40 percent of the energy consumption in the commercial building sector. Advanced lighting solutions increase savings and maximise business operations. Depending on your business, the SSAC lighting team proposes the best combination of different solutions, which may include high-efficiency LED lighting, lighting controls, occupancy sensors, dimmers, LED cooler lighting, and vending machine controls.

The benefits of implementing its lighting solutions are immediate. Energy efficiency upgrades can reduce lighting costs by up to 50 percent. SSAC recommendations and professional project management services will assure optimal energy efficiency from the minute you turn on the lights. In addition, lighting solutions can enhance the quality of lighting and appearance of your business, increase productivity, improve employee well-being throughout a facility and improve the lighting equipment longevity.

The first step in planning a lighting strategy is to define the existing condition of the lighting systems. SSAC starts with a facility audit that incorporates every aspect of the project from inspection to completion.

And going solar requires navigating sustainable territory and working with an experienced guide. If SSAC decides that installing a solar project is right for you, it develops a turn-key solar plan, seek funding opportunities and tax incentives and establish benchmarks for your solar project success. Your company may consider a renewable energy project for many different reasons, including energy cost savings, hedge against future energy cost increases, demand management, onsite energy resources for reliability and security, reduce environmental impacts and to meet corporate energy sustainability goals. SSAC works with your organisation to provide a plan that shields you from rising electric costs, conducts research on your specific project and provides recommendations based on experience and your energy sustainability goals. Depending on what you consider the best solar solution- a rooftop application, ground-mount, canopy or carport, SSAC seamlessly follow the project through to the final implementation stages and remain with you every step of the way.

Installing a solar array, on the whole, provides you stabilisation and independence from the very volatile energy markets and inadequate supply, conforms to your financial and long-term energy goals, delivers optimal financial savings and long-term energy reductions based on your preferences.

Taking advantage of unused roof or land space to create clean energy is smart and attainable. You can create and provide power locally; it helps to relieve pressure on the grid and if you have an abundance of unused energy, you can sell back to the grid.

SSAC clients come from every business category with unique energy needs. Applying a comprehensive energy management approach is helping clients to realize long-term energy savings and to attain their goals.

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