Decentralized Grid System: A Solution to Energy Poverty

Nigeria’s poor power supply is one of its many hindrances to achieving growth and a stable economy. Nigeria’s centralized grid system hasn’t met the country’s energy needs. Over 70 million Nigerians lack reliable electricity, with a per capita access to only 2% of the United States’ electricity generation. But if we expand the grid system, more Nigerians will access electricity, fostering the economy.

Currently, only 25 power generation plants supply power to the entire nation. And due to poor maintenance, they operate below capacity. Also, Nigeria depends on gas-fired generation, which results in the disruption of power supply, and sometimes, a total collapse of the grid.

This erratic power supply leads to economic loss, as the International Monetary Fund estimates that it costs the country a whopping $29 billion each year. But if we adopt a decentralized grid system, we’ll have smaller generation and storage units closer to consumers.

Countries around the world leverage on smaller energy sources, and they’ve been able to address energy deficits within their communities. In Tanzania, a hydro-powered mini-grid in Ludewa District serves over 1,600 Tanzanians across ten villages.

Steps to Create a Decentralized System

1. Create Empowering Legislations

Also, building the capacity of mini-grid developers and helping them develop effective business models will reduce energy poverty.

2. Disseminate Information and Implement

But it doesn’t stop there, as interested stakeholders need financial and informational support during implementation. The government should also invest resources into studies to inform energy access strategies best suited to Nigeria.

3. Adapt a Relevant Policy and Regulatory Framework

Also, the framework needs to be adjustable to the needs of micro-grid development processes.

4. Eliminate the Red Tape

It’s Time to End Energy Poverty in Nigeria

In sub-Saharan Africa, emerging innovative business models and renewables are fast transforming the energy sector. That’s why Nigeria needs to get on board the decisive actions and strategies adopted by countries like Tanzania.

Author: Christiana Jolaoso


Join this space as REES Advocates keep you up to date with the impact we make in combating energy poverty and promoting environmental sustainability in Africa.