Energy Efficiency as Underlying Solution to Energy Deficiencies

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Energy Efficiency as Underlying Solution to Energy Deficiencies

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency, as pioneered by Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Company in the industry, simply means using less energy input to achieve the same services thereby saving energy and cost, as well as improving power supply in a sustainable manner. Energy is an input factor for nearly all goods and services, and most economic activities would be impaired without it. Energy use tends to increase as incomes rise leading to high energy intensity; as high-income countries consume more energy per capita than low-income nations.

 

In addition, the links between global economic growth, energy demand, and energy-related emissions are projected to weaken, particularly in developed countries. On the other hand, developing countries, such as Nigeria will likely see a rapid increase in energy demand due to higher economic growth, population increase and improvements in the quality of life and choices. Hence, implementation of energy efficiency measures is required to reduce the huge gap between energy demand and supply, as well as improve service delivery to the energy consumers.

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Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency (EE) is key to the transformation of energy systems. It is a proven cost-effective option that can provide long-term benefits of optimal energy supply in Nigeria. It is estimated that energy efficiency will play a critical role in limiting world energy demand growth to one-third by 2040, while the global economy grows by 150%. It also offers a unique opportunity to reconcile economic competitiveness with sustainable development and provides the added benefits of reducing the cost of energy and increasing energy productivity.

In addition, Energy efficiency improvements in residential and public sectors have delivered a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits to society, including energy security, job creation, energy poverty alleviation, improved health and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. It can, for example, help to reduce energy expenditure and increase the affordability of energy in low-income households by bringing down the per-unit cost of lighting, cooling, refrigeration and other services. It can also help reduce pollution by lowering the need for generation and associated emissions which impact negatively on human health; which potentially include reduced symptoms of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, rheumatism, arthritis, and allergies, particularly among vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those with pre-existing illnesses.

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Furthermore, energy efficiency promotes efficient energy use in households, public facilities, commercial buildings, SMEs and the transport sector; thereby reducing energy deficiencies and increasing energy access. It assists government agencies to address barriers to investment in energy sector via a combination of policy and financial de-risking instruments and targeted financial incentives to consumers and key energy market players, such as the providers of energy-saving appliances, equipment, and services. And also supports governments to design and implement energy-saving legislation including building codes, energy rating systems and deploying energy management information systems and capacity-building for policy enforcement among authorities and relevant market stakeholders.

 

Need for Energy Efficiency Regulation in Nigeria

The growing energy demand has worsened energy deficiencies and poverty in Nigeria. In recognition of this ugly trend, Nigeria can partner with International Energy Agency (IEA), to institute Energy Efficiency Law; which will set regulations regarding MEPs in lighting, appliances, cooling, building design, and transportation system. The regulation will establish procedures for mandatory monitoring, reporting, and compliance by the power supply companies, energy consumers and manufacturers of electrical appliances.

Moreover, the huge gap between energy demand and supply shows there is an urgent need for effective legislation on efficient energy use and supply systems, as a crucial step towards the reduction in energy deficiencies in Nigeria. The international standard organization (ISO) has set up the technical committees ISO/TC 163 for thermal performance and energy use in the built environment as well as ISO/TC 205 for building environment design. The European Union has made significant progress in EE regulation through their legislative arm of the government and collaboration with other stakeholders within the industry.

Hence, the Nigerian National Assembly, state houses of assembly, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), power distribution companies and other stakeholders all have important roles to play towards achieving the desired goal of effective energy efficiency regulation in Nigeria.

 

Energy Efficiency as Underlying Solution to Energy Deficiencies
Author; Franklin Ajaegbu Program Manager, Energy Efficiency at Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc

 

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