Nigerians are to continually witness the present power challenges a little longer as prophesied by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). This was contained in a report submitted to the National Electricity Regulatory commission (NERC) by the Transmission Company of Nigeria. The report indicated a continuous shortage of grid electricity for the next 10 years.
This study was undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on behalf of the Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN). The criteria of high rainfalls, high technical availability and reduced energy demand growth were assumed for the study. Despite the aforementioned assumptions, the report explained that the average power demand by 2027 would be about 24,551MW of power as against the current demand of about 15,440MW.
The report also affirmed that the present issues of gas supplies constraints, poor transmission capacity, multi-year tariff allocation would also be challenges faced in years to come.
According to the report; “Nigeria will continue to suffer from a severe deficit in electrical energy from the main supply grid in the next 10 years. Even under most optimistic assumptions (high technical availability, high rainfalls, low demand growth), this energy deficit will remain at a level of around 3000MWh/h. In addition to insufficient generation capacity, constraints in the gas supplies will remain very important. Given the expected available generation capacity, gas constraints will continue to limit the available energy until 2025. The capability of the transmission network was calculated under the conditions of all active generators in service and the load distributed according to the MYTO allocation5. The planned generation and transmission projects were considered. The capability of the 330kV network is limited by thermal as well as voltage stability constraints”.
The current issues of stranded power which is as a result of the poor wheeling capacity of TCN, and that of generation plants not operating on maximum capacity due to gas constraints were also reiterated to be causing a ripple effect on the power sector challenges.
Continuing, the report explained: “In addition to the energy shortage, there was a severe shortage in reliably available generation capacity (RANGC). RANGC represents the amount of generation that is available for 99 per cent of the time, irrespective of any gas and water constraints”.
“It amounted to 5495MW. The gap between RANGC and peak demand amounted to some 2375MW, when using the same demand estimate. The shortage was not only due to insufficient installed generation capacity, but also due to poor availability of the generators. The primary frequency regulation of the power generating plants was not working in 2015, causing the statutory frequency limits to be exceeded every day. Six total and four partial Collapses occurred, which is very high by international standards”.
On transmission it stated: “Transmission constraints frequently limited the power flows in the network. Generation in the south-east frequently had to be reduced due to local transmission constraints and due to constraints in the lines from the Benin towards Lagos areas”.
“Whenever the availability of generation was high, the flow from Shiroro to Kaduna had to be limited to ensure that voltage stability would be maintained in operation. As a result, the power allocated to the northern Discos (according to MYTO) could frequently not be met. Furthermore, a redistribution of power to the southern Discos often failed, ultimately requiring the generation in the south-eastern network to be reduced,” the report noted