FG to focus on alternative power generation sources – Adelabu

Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu
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By Constance Athekame

The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, says the Federal Government would focus on alternative sources of generation to improve power supply in the country.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday while interacting with Power Correspondents, Adelabu said that the plan was to de-emphasise the national grid and focus on distributed power.

According to him, power can be generated and taken to the consumers without passing through the national grid, adding that the best way to achieve the aim would be to focus on alternative sources of generation.

“We want to use small hydros; we have small dams that can generate between 500kilowatts to five megawatts.

“So, we want to focus on that to generate power to identified locations embedded in the distribution network without passing through the transmission network because the capacity and stability of our transmission is still constrained,” he said.

The minister said that government was looking at solar energy as there were a lot of investors that have given the country offers to invest in it.

Adelabu said that a lot of them were asking the government to give them Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and evacuate it to the grid.

“No, it won’t happen now. Whoever wants to invest in solar power must identify who the off-takers are; our focus should be on off grid power generation.

“We have proposals for offshore wind power in Nigeria, we have potential for this because we are a coastal country. We can have wind fans that will give us very clean power.

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“That is what we want to do, why we concentrate on continuously improving the grid and expanding its capacity. We don’t want to wait, we want to generate power and distribute to our people,” he said.

Adelabu said that he had also ordered an investigation into the extension of the licences of Electricity Distribution Companies, otherwise known as DisCos by five years.

”When I came in, the licences I saw were for 10 years, 2013 to 2023. But along the line, I spoke to the NERC Chairman they said they have extended the licences for another five years,” he said.

According to Adelabu, the problem in the power sector was multi–dimensional and cut across the value-chain from generation to transmission and to distribution.

He said that all the stakeholders must be involved to achieve the desired result, as one person cannot solve the problem of the sector.

“We are going to make an impact by turning the industry around to deliver improved power to the doorstep of households, businesses and industries,” Adelabu said.

The minister said that desired results were not achieved in the sector because it had always been top to down approach, which meant that activities moved from generation to transmission and finally to distribution.

Adelabu said that previous governments had always focused on establishing more power plants and getting power generated without so much emphasis on delivering channels.

“If our focus is on distribution, infrastructure improvement and a little of transmission and with the volume of power we generate, we are going to double the delivery to the doorstep of consumers.

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“So, what we want to adopt is a bottom up approach which is delivery focus, the little we generate, are we able to get it to consumers?

“So, we are starting from the customer end,” he said.

The minister also urged the media to report objectively, adding that they were partners in achieving the mandate of the present administration of delivering stable power to Nigerians.

“Communication is key in anything you do. No matter how hard you work and you don’t communicate in the right quarters, nobody will know what you are doing,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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