REDUCING ENERGY POVERTY

The world is indeed a global village where there is no barrier to trade, transportation, communication, media and information exchange via the internet of things as scientific and technological developments have revolutionised different aspects of life. Yet, there are inequalities and exploitation in this global village with the third world nations, comprising of majority of the world’s population, underdeveloped and backward. The fastest way to reduce these inequalities is to address the energy differential that exists in the global village. Some have opined that the drivers for such change must satisfy the social, technological, economic, environmental, and political (STEEP framework) criteria wherein there is continuous generation of energy from methods that do not rely on finite energy resources, are not under the political control of any one nation, ensure environmentally sound development, and meet economic and societal expectations.

In simple terms, energy poverty can be described as the propensity to become incapable of securing a socially and materially necessitated level of energy services in the home, office, or at work – services that satisfy needs which are at the core of human functionings. Such services include but are not limited to lighting, cooking, drying, refrigeration, working appliances, functional IT and communication systems, space and water heating, space cooling or air-conditioning, to mention but a few. While it must be stated ab-initio that the drivers for energy deprivation differs globally, all forms of energy and fuel poverty are underpinned by a common impact on long and short-term mental and physical health, inequality, gender discrimination, indoor air pollution, cold air exposure, deaths, gender discrimination, personal safety, household time budgets, labour productivity and income etc. More importantly, biological energy needs are universal and the benefits derivable from availability of energy services are the same everywhere you turn to worldwide. Some of the reasons behind energy poverty include low income and earning potential, high energy prices, poor energy efficiency, lack of access to energy due to absence of infrastructure to deliver same, policy marginalization, increasing demand or need for energy. Yet, energy service poverty is not static and does not necessarily affect demographically distinct groups of people or race. This presents the idea that once energy poor is not always energy poor. Thus, if effort is made to re-address the causes of energy deprivation, it is possible to avoid energy poverty.

To get to this point, a highlight of the broad range of systemic circumstances that lead to the emergence of domestic energy deprivation including institutional factors, political economies, infrastructural legacies, housing structures, income differentials, and changes to the needs and affordability of utility services has been given a worldwide consideration. Thus, there has been a change in the global understanding of the root cause of energy deprivation to include the politics of self-aggrandizement which leads to gross under-development and underconsumption of energy services. To this end and more recently, there has been a distributional and fiscal implications of state-led policies to address energy consumption, as well as the pathways through which increased access to modern fuels (non-traditional energy sources) contribute to livelihood improvement and human development in more general terms. This allows us to move from a supply-dominated logic underscoring the under-development of technical infrastructures to a more nuanced understanding of the multi-layered political economies and relations of power that drive the emergence and persistence of energy poverty. Although there has been an increased awareness of cultural and political determinants of household energy transitions towards the use of modern fuels in developing countries, what is been done worldwide to ameliorate energy poverty is tapping into the potential of micro-generation and renewable energy investment as an alternative to top-down power grid expansion. In simple terms, solar panels and micro wind generators on every roof top!!!

As stated earlier, if there is one common thread that connects both developed and developing world countries with respect to the underconsumption of energy in the home, it is the pivotal role of energy services. Energy services can be understood to mean the benefits that energy carriers produce for human wellbeing. This definition shifts the perspective away from fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, uranium, sunlight, wind, along with the complex technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, carbon capture and storage, advanced nuclear reactors, and superconducting transmission lines to name just a few onto the notion that people do not demand energy per se but energy services like mobility, washing, heating, cooking, cooling and lighting.

Focusing on energy services shifts attention from the primary energy resources onto achieving adequate levels of the stated benefits thus enabling policy goals to be directed to achieving adequate levels of lighting rather than delivering kWh of electricity, considering the role of demand-side management, the environmental impact of the use of energy, the utility and satisfaction received by end users, and the efficiency of energy carriers due to the multifunctional nature of energy services. All of these have the potential to focus on harnessing an hybrid assemblages of technological and social practices, institutional arrangements, shared cultural meanings and norms, knowledge and skills and material technologies and infrastructures as a common resource to combat domestic energy poverty.

The dynamic nature of energy service poverty makes the subject one of great interest to policy makers because it is easier to address energy vulnerability factors by exploring the drivers of deprivation of energy services – the so called socio-technical risks that can tip households into energy poverty, including but not limited to low income and earning potential, high energy prices, poor energy efficiency, lack of access to energy due to absence of infrastructure to deliver same, policy marginalization, increasing demand or need for energy, as already highlighted.

A potential result of this initiative will be the connection of power systems in Europe to the PV generation in North Africa in a world responding to a changing definition of energy as a yardstick for measuring poverty!

 

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Thank you all for your readership You have read in one month many times more than you did in 2017! Please visit the Stats section

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Please Click on JANUARY RESULTS

Thank you all for your readership

You have read in one month many times more than you did in 2017!

Please visit the Stats section

Thank you all for your readership

You have read in one month many times more than you did in 2017!

Please visit the Stats section.

 

Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo, MNSE CEng MIET UK

MD Idfon Power Engineering Consultants (iPEC)

 

 

SOLAR INVERTER BATTERY SOLUTION FOR THE NIGERIAN ELECTRICITY CONUNDRUM- RESIDENTIAL APPLICATIONS FOR A START

We are bringing in Batteries for Inverters into Nigeria by mid-March, 2018. (Deo Volente).

We will be opening the market to distributors and sub-distributors.

We will also come in with Solar Panels and Hybrid solutions that use Solar & Generator (idea being minimal fuel from use of Generator and ultimately a suspension of the use of generator while concentrating on Solar plus Inverter with Battery Storage).

Wanted :

1. Major Distributors

2. Sub-Distributors

3. Strategic outlets

Coverage:

All over Nigeria.

Franchises- States, Regions, Cities, Towns, etc

Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo

MNSE CEng MIET UK

MD iPEC

CONVERSION OF DEGREES – FROM CELSIUS TO FAHRENHEIT

Conversion of degrees from Celsius to Fahrenheit & vice- versa

T(°F)= T(°C) X9/5 + 32

Or

T(°F)= T(°C) X 1.8 + 32

Example:

Convert 20 degrees Celsius to degree Fahrenheit:

T(°F)= (20°C) X9/5 + 32= 68°F

Tutorial

Convert to Fahrenheit

1. 50 degrees celcius

2. 100 degree celcius

Convert to Celsius

1. 68 degree Fahrenheit

2. 86 degree Fahrenheit

 

To convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 and divide the result by 1.8

T(°C)= (T°F-32) X5/9 or

T(°C)= (T°F-32) X5/9

For example,

Convert 122°F to degree celsius.

T(°C)= (T°F-32) X5/9= (122-32)X5/9=50°C

Response from one tutee:

While in Secondary School, I had no idea of HOW TO CONVERT FAHRENHEIT TO DEGREE CELSIUS.

Even my physics teacher wasn’t able to put me through.

Thank you Mr Oyebanjo
Learnt a new thing today

Niagorom Paul Nwosu

REDUCTION OF NON-TECHNICAL LOSSES IN THE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK.

One of the most important elements of the power sector recovery programme (PSRP) needed to realize the economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government (FG) and the Ministry of Power is the reduction of non-technical losses in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Efficient, resilient and financially healthy power sector is a requirement for the economic development of any nation.

Every power network has losses, both technical and non-technical.

Distribution network losses refer to the difference between the electrical energy entering and leaving the distribution network for technical or non-technical reasons. These power or energy losses represent significant economic losses to the power value chain and must be measured, managed and mitigated for a successful power sector reform program.

Technical losses on the power network occur due to the physics of flow of electricity through the network. As current flows through power system components such as cables, overhead lines, switchgears, transformers, connection points, measurement systems and other equipment that carry energy to and from customers, energy is continuously dissipated, mostly transformed into heat and noise. These losses cost money and are usually included in the tariffs paid by the consumers. Technical losses can be variable (load related), fixed (non-load related) or due to uncontracted consumption of network equipment.

Non-Technical losses on a power network is the embodiment of electricity delivered and distributed via the network which cannot be measured or properly accounted for. They occur primarily due to unidentified, misallocated, and inaccurate energy flows, unmetered supplies, unpaid bills, electricity theft, illegal connection, estimated billing, inadequate metering, meter by-pass, etc. Non-technical losses are caused by actions that are external to the power system and in all cases, a poor level of management by the distribution company (DisCo) operating the network is to blame largely as a result of poor network equipment and information management systems, absence of robust energy data processing and management systems, or due to generally poor customer engagement and management processes. These losses relate to commercial and collection issues and are so named.

The aggregate technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) losses in the NESI is huge and this has the potential to deter any passionate investor from the sector. Hence, it will not be out of place if the sector can be provided with adequate financial, technical, institutional and commercial interventions to ensure its optimal performance and reduction in non-technical losses in the distribution network.

During the privatization of the power industry in Nigeria by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council on Privatization (NCP), one of the criteria that was used to select the preferred bidders for the DisCos is the ability to reduce technical and non-technical losses as this has the potential to impact on the power sector positively. The non-performance of DisCos in this regard is therefore a significant breach of the license conditions and performance agreements they signed to.

The reduction in the aggregate technical, collection, and commercial (ATC&C) losses in the NESI is fundamental to the survival of the electricity market and therefore the realization of incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria. A systematic approach based on the output measure technique is about the only means available in the world of power systems to achieve a performance driven development of an efficient and functional electricity distribution system in the NESI.

Solutions

Improvement in processes & systems

There are a number of solutions that can assist with the reduction of non-technical losses on the distribution network. One solution is in the improvement of systems and internal processes by the adoption of international standards such as Standard Transfer Specification (STS) for prepayment systems via hosted services. Losses from payment systems and internal processes of DisCos are largely ignored and can be quite significant. Ghost vending is popular in the market but the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) appears to be unaware of it or at best not doing anything to stem the tide of the ugly occurrence. This is a situation where third parties who have access to the STS codes of DisCos carry out illegal sales of tokens. Robust monitoring an oversight by NERC is absent even as the illiquidity and debt profile of the NESI grow astronomically. In addition, a data driven system of processes must be implemented in NESI immediately to ensure that most information does not go unrecorded.

Smart Metering

Another solution is the deployment of smart metering technologies at all consumer terminals. Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMI) technology for example will enable the deployment of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) in network clusters and this can lead to a more effective billing system. Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is the technology for automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from energy metering devices and transferring that data to a central database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyses. This technology will save DisCos the expense of periodic trips to each consumer property to read a meter. Another advantage is that billing can be based on near real-time consumption rather than on estimates which are based on past or predicted consumption levels. This timely information coupled with analyses can help both DisCos and customers better manage power flows and consumption. Additional benefits include increased efficiencies, outage detection, tamper notification and reduced labour cost as a result of automated readings, connections and disconnections, opportunity to offer new innovative products in addition to customizing packages for customers, more flexible billing cycles for customers who will have opportunities to manage their energy consumption and change from one supplier to another with actual meter data, demand side management (DSM), distributed energy resources (DERs) etc.

The deployment of smart metering should be seen as a national emergency. The present crop of “investors” in the NESI does not have the financial backbone to deliver this project without any financial intervention from the Government who can later claw back this investment via regulatory mechanisms. The roll out of Smart Metering technology will be a game changer in view of the fact that electricity is a major driver of industrialization in any economy.

The effective and efficient implementation of the smart metering project will not only lead to a viable and reliable NESI but also increased productivity in agriculture & labour, improvement in delivery of health & education, access to communications (radio, telephone, television, mobile), improved lighting after sunset, increased public safety through outdoor lighting and more. On a more social level, studies have shown that household electrification also increases the likelihood that women would get more empowered to study and earn income.

Corruption is the bane of the power sector as well as the wider Nigerian society. Everyone everywhere looks for a way to exploit the system. The collusion of staff of electricity companies with consumers to by-pass meters, the paradox of estimated bills, entrenched poverty in the society, the believe that electricity should be a social service to be provided by the government, poor network infrastructure are some of the highlighted reasons for having up to 50% losses on the power network. Much can be done to reduce electricity theft by using technology such as e-metering.

The perennial excuse of lack of affordability or ability to pay for electricity consumed by citizens attendant to the general poverty levels in the society, sheer ignorance, impunity for theft, endemic corruption in the NESI and the wider Nigerian society, the believe that electricity should be provided as a social obligation from the government of an oil “rich” Nigeria are some of the reasons why power theft is rampant.

Eradicating electricity theft will align with the objectives of both PSRP and ERGP as this will boost the economy. Power theft is not unique to Nigeria. Only the scale of widespread is alarming here. Electricity robbers make all consumers pay more and worsen the legacy of on-going debts in the NESI. Unmetered customers get involved in power theft but e-metering/smart metering is part of the solution to this menace. Yes, power theft is a global challenge, albeit to a larger scale in Sub-Sahara Africa. We can learn from the experiences of South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana on how to tackle this ugly headed cankerworm!

Licensing of Meter Operators

Alternatively, as it is the case in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, utility metering can be handled by certified and licensed professionals called Meter Operators. These service providers will work with the DisCos to install and maintain the smart meters at the customer premises for a predetermined fee. In this case, the role of the Federal Government of Nigeria is reduced to providing the enabling environment by way of funding, legislations and regulations for this set of service providers and investors alike to proffer solutions to the teething problems bedevilling the power sector in Nigeria.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency is also an underlying solution to energy deficiencies and collection losses. Implementing practical energy efficiency projects such as the free replacement of existing bulbs with energy saving equivalents, enlightenment campaigns such as the energising education programme (EEP), energy audit, School-to-School training etc can be very apt in reducing losses when combined with power system planning, and load balancing. Yes, the availability of reliable, quality and affordable power helps with the rapid growth in agriculture while guaranteeing the industrial and overall economic development of the nation.

Rural Electrification and off-grid solutions

Presently, power supply in rural areas in many parts of the country is inadequate and unreliable. In the rural areas, the agricultural and non-agricultural loads (domestic and non-domestic) are typically catered for through common distribution networks. The distribution utilities resort to frequent load shedding in rural areas to mitigate the gap between supply and demand which affects power supply to agricultural settlements as well as non-agricultural consumers owing to their shared piece of distribution network. Yet, the demand of electricity in rural areas is increasing day by day due to increase in customer base, changes in lifestyle and consumption pattern which requires continuous strengthening of the distribution network, necessary to ensure reliable and quality power supply in rural areas with the potential to transform and improve the future energy situation in Nigeria. Deployment of renewable-based off-grid solutions such as Solar Homes, Solar-Hybrid, micro-grids etc will be apt for the rural areas as well as underserved communities in Nigeria.

Load balancing

Feeder separation in rural areas to ensure supply of electricity to agricultural based and non-agricultural consumers are differentiated through dedicated feeders is in order. This arrangement will allow the DisCos to ensure adequate and reliable power to farmers as well as to rural households resulting in high productivity and farm security. Besides, when the non-agricultural rural households get regular and uninterrupted power supply, there will be an improvement in the quality of life in rural areas, a panacea for boosting economic activity. Load balancing across the three-phases of a distribution network reduces negative sequence currents and therefore losses on the network.

Regulatory Intervention

NERC should as a matter of urgency develop an adequate incentive for loss reduction by setting realistic loss targets, penalties and bonuses. Also to be included are schemes that reward effective customer engagement and stakeholder management processes with the goal of reducing losses and energy theft.

True, the cost of loss reduction may be high but the benefits far outweigh the cost. Therefore, the aforementioned strategies can be of help in reducing the high level of non-technical losses being experienced within the NESI so as to forestall further loss of revenue which is the main attraction for would-be investors.

I am very optimistic that suggested measures and more, when implemented, will facilitate the reduction of non-technical losses to the barest minimum within the distribution network in the NESI and investors will not continue to shy away from investing in the NESI.

IDOWU OYEBANJO MNSE CEng MIET UK.

2017- A year of Power Sector Highs & Lows

This year has had its “ups and downs” and the power sector is no exception. The year started with a generally low mood in terms of the quantum of power generation available for distribution from none to a peak of 5,222MW on 18th of December, 2017. Early on in the year, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) decried the generally low level of remittances from the distribution companies (DisCos) which has led to the rising spate of on-going debt and general illiquidity in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). The average monthly remittance from the DisCos was as low as 30 percent with all the operators trading blames on who is responsible for the situation. This has led to the inability of the generating companies (GenCos) and the transmission company of Nigeria (TCN) to pay for services procured in generating and transmitting power to the DisCos. The illiquidity in the NESI has resulted in a generally low mood for all stakeholders including Banks, financial institutions, relevant ministries, departments, agencies, potential investors (local & international).

Throughout the year, consumers were at a loss as to why the much needed electricity generated by the GenCos was rejected month after month by the DisCos and TCN. The blame game between the operators made nonsense of privatisation. Yet, accompanying the low levels of electricity supply were outrageously high levels of estimated and fraudulently extorted electricity bills leaving consumers at their regular and continuous state of “low”.

In its lowest ebb of financial distress, the NESI experienced a financial debt profile of over a trillion naira until the Federal Government (FG), through the Central Bank, arranged a 701 billion Payment Assurance Guarantee (PAG) to the NBET to enable them make payment to GenCos who were unable to make prompt payment for gas and other incurred expenses. GenCos however remained in low spirit for months thereafter as actual payment by instalment did not commence until much later. Even then, DisCos remained in a low spirit especially with the declaration of eligible customers (EC) by the Minister of Power during this year of highs & lows. In their low ebb, DisCos have given a notice of Force Majeure to NBET, stating that the declaration of EC is a threat to their continued survival within the NESI.

On a more positive note, the NESI was on a “general high” when FG, working with the World Bank and other affiliate financial institutions, sets out a power sector recovery program (PSRP) which if implemented will put the power sector reform back on track. However, conditions precedent to the release of over 5 billion USD of loan have not been met by the FG whilst industry watchers remained on a “general low”. To access the loan, FG must overcome technical, governance, commercial and operational barriers.

At the end of the year, the annual Future Energy Nigeria conference puts the NESI on high hopes shifting discussion points from the known issues to the proffering and implementation of solutions. To this end, the NESI will therefore witness, in the coming years, a radical shift in focus to sustainable electricity systems with increased penetration of renewable energy generation, mini grids, solar homes, and hybrid solutions involving solar and gas technology in combating the power problems facing Nigeria.

FUTURE ENERGY NIGERIA CONFERENCE

The just concluded Future Energy Nigeria Conference for 2017 held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria from 7 – 8 November has set a new dawn for the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo, a UK Chartered Power System Engineer and MD, Idfon Power Engineering Consultants (iPEC), sets the tone for an industry wide historic shift in mindset for all Stakeholders in the NESI saying: “We must move away from talking about the known issues to proffering and implementing solutions”. He said he will expect that from now on, future power conferences in Nigeria will be solution-based.

The theme of the event aligns with the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) and FG’s plans to attract required investment from the private sector to ensure incremental, stable and uninterrupted electricity supply while promoting economic development opportunities across the country through the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP). This can be achieved by focusing on solutions to practical issues surrounding financing power generation, transformation, transmission, distribution, supply, while diversifying the energy mix, closing the metering gap and increasing performance standards of all major stakeholders to mention but a few.

Apart from the strategic conference, the event showcased a pre-conference master class which provided financing options for Renewable Energy (RE) systems, detailing what financiers are looking for when funding a RE project.

The Strategic Conference

The Keynote address 1

What does the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) mean for the Nigerian Energy Sector?

Patrick Okigbo of Nextier Power in his speech highlighted the relationship between ERGP and PSRP while stating the conditions precedent that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) must meet before the World Bank and affiliate financial institutions can borrow Nigeria the required 5.3 billion USD to combat the infrastructure, liquidity, and governance challenges the power sector faces. This, according to him, will require specific, strategic interventions by FGN and its regulatory agencies to reset the electricity market. To reset the NESI, immediate steps to take must include financial, operational (technical), governance and policy interventions.

The World Bank Group and others have stated time-bound conditions precedent for the disbursement of loans to FGN to include ensuring:

  1. A minimum of 4000MW daily generation capacity in 2017.
  2. DisCos’ performance and put in place credible business continuity plans in case DisCos fail.
  3. Proper sector governance by appointing qualified and competent professionals from the private sector to lead sector agencies and boards.
  4. Data driven processes for decision making across the sector.
  5. Sacrosanctity of electricity market contracts.
  6. A communication strategy that carries all stakeholders along and especially to have customer buy-in.
  7. An FX policy for the power sector.
  8. Increase in electricity access in the NESI using off-grid solutions.
  9. Private sector investment by removing all barriers to investment including the implementation of a cost reflective tariff.

In reaction to the speech, the audience was perturbed by the fact that Nigeria with an external reserve of over 30 billion USD is seeking a loan of 2.7 billion USD from the World Bank group. Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo recommended that investment should be made in the distribution networks while regional power grids should be established for significant penetration of embedded generation in every part of the country as soon as possible. He further recommended that for the PSRP and ERGP to succeed, there is an urgent need to put in place a Power System Architect, a multi-disciplinary team of technocrats from diverse fields to coordinate the implementation of the program.

Everyone agreed that the time to act is now.

Keynote Address 2

A critical review of Nigerian Power Sector’s Legal/Regulatory Framework – Areas for Legislative Intervention

For the first time, the Nigerian National Assembly co-located the Future Energy Nigeria event to focus on the broad energy portfolio by bringing the entire value chain together for frank and honest discussions on strategies for overcoming funding challenges, capacity building and knowledge sharing between IOCs and Independent participants in the oil, gas, and power industry in Nigeria.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, a passionate, prolific and unassuming distinguished Senator and chairman, Senate Committee on Power, hits the nail on the head, quoting from the holy books saying: “For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God”. He said we must avoid the blame game we have witnessed in the last few years and move towards resolving issues and implementing solutions. In his characteristic manner, he summarized, quite quintessentially, the challenges of the power sector, the solutions as well as made the promise that Nigerians will get the support of the Legislative chamber. He opined that the robustness of the discussions during the FEN 2017 conference means that a public enquiry on Legislative interventions in the power sector should involve all stakeholders from the FEN 2017 conference among others.

To have the chairmen of the committees on power from the Senate and House of Representatives, His Excellency Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Honorable (Chief) Daniel Asuquo at the event proves that the Law makers in the country are aware of the problems in the power sector and are willing to tackle them head-on. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe reiterated the relationship between the GDP of a nation and the quantum of electricity supply. He asked the question: What is the most efficient way to produce and let Nigerians have safe, secure, reliable and sufficient power? Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo responded that the creation of regional grids with the transmission network left in position for interconnectivity and economic transfer of electricity where possible is the veritable means to achieve the required progress in NESI. On the subject of RE, he maintained that all energy sources will be included in the future energy scenario for NESI. A separate legislation on RE is already before the National Assembly and a public enquiry about it should be expected pretty soon.

The Lawmakers promised that the inputs arising from the deliberations from this conference will be used to engage appropriate arms of the government.

Unbundling of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)

A search beam into the activities and role of TCN as the weakest link of the NESI brought the need for improved operational efficiency. Some stakeholders believe that with TCN remaining in the hands of the government with other segments of the NESI in private hands, full privatization or concessioning of the transmission network is inevitable as we move along towards the full liberalization of the Nigerian electricity market. The idea of concessioning the transmission network was deemed inappropriate in the short-to-medium term but can be considered in the medium-to-long term planning of the development of the power sector reform program.

Everyone agreed with Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo that a regional grid system with the transmission network used as and when required (for example as an interconnector) is the surest way to realize the immediate objectives of both the PSRP and ERGP. Continuing with investment in the transmission network will have a limited impact compared to using same funds to strengthen the distribution networks.

The Technical Workshop

  • Reducing Distribution Losses

The reduction in the aggregate technical, collection, and commercial (ATC&C) losses in the NESI is fundamental to the survival of the electricity market and therefore the realization of incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria. A systematic approach based on the output measure technique is about the only means available in the world of power systems to achieve a performance driven development of an efficient and functional electricity distribution system in the NESI.

This was a major focus in the technical workshop with Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo as the chairperson. In his opening remarks, Engineer Oyebanjo posited that an efficient, resilient, and financially healthy  power sector is required for the sustainability of the NESI. With the levels of technical and non-technical losses in the power sector, the entire sector can become grounded. However, speakers at the technical workshop gave insight to well-prepared solutions that can assist with the reduction of losses on the distribution networks.

Speaker: Oladipupo Bello, Managing Director, Adroit Metering Services Limited, Nigeria

Topic     : Resolving Challenges of Standard Transfer Specification (STS) in Nigeria through ‘Hosted”        services.

Outline of points

  1. Losses from payment systems and internal processes of DisCos largely ignored and can be significant.
  2. Ghost Vending is popular in the market but NERC appears to be unaware of it or at best not doing anything to stem the tide of the ugly occurrence. This is a situation where third parties who have access to the STS codes of DisCos carry out illegal sales of tokens.
  3. Robust monitoring an oversight by NERC is absent even as the illiquidity and debt profile of the NESI grow astronomically.
  4. Knowledge gap in the sector is alarming and should be addressed.
  5. A data driven system of processes must be implemented in NESI immediately to ensure that most information do not go unrecorded.
  6. The previous NERC commissioners know a little about power systems. Too many Lawyers and “fancy bureaucrats” leading a sector as important as the power sector. Significant progress expected from the current crop of NERC commissioners with a larger proportion of engineers.
  7. Corruption is the bane of the power sector as well as the larger society. Everyone everywhere looks for a way to exploit the system. The collusion of staff of electricity companies with consumers to by-pass meters, the paradox of estimated bills, entrenched poverty in the society, the believe that electricity should be a social service to be provided by the government, poor network infrastructure are some of the highlighted reasons for having up to 50% losses on the power network.

In summary, in view of the technicalities involved in resolving the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional challenges facing the DisCos, we hereby encourage the DisCos to embrace third-party applications such as the STS which is an open standard for pre-payment systems. If adopted as an industry strategy, we believe this will take the burden of responsibility from them because it is obviously more complex than they can handle.

  • Speaker: Prince Olaoye Ghaffar, CEO, De Apps Technologies, Nigeria

Topic     : Using technology to stop power theft by e-metering.

Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo expressed his concern over treatment of patents in Nigeria as innovative solutions for electricity theft his team has designed will require patent rights to be observed in Nigeria, otherwise, the required innovation and technological solutions will not come the way of NESI.

He also raised the following questions in the introduction to this session:

  1. What are the major reasons why we have power theft?
  2. What categories of persons/strata of society are grossly involved?
  3. What solutions can be proposed?
  4. What findings do we have from research into the methodologies used by electric utilities in other less developed countries having similar issues?

Outline of points

  1. The perennial excuse of lack of affordability to pay for electricity consumed by citizens attendant to the general poverty levels in the society, sheer ignorance, impunity for theft, endemic corruption in the NESI and the wider Nigerian society, the believe that electricity should be provided as a social obligation from the government of an oil “rich” Nigeria are some of the reasons why power theft is rampant.
  2. Eradicating electricity theft will align with the objectives of both PSRP and ERGP as this will boost the economy.
  3. Power theft is not unique to Nigeria. Only the scale of widespread is alarming here.

In summary, electricity robbers make all consumers pay more and worsen the legacy of ongoing debts in the NESI. Unmetered customers involve in power theft but e-metering/smart metering is part of the solution.

Power theft is a global challenge, albeit to a larger scale in Sub-Sahara Africa. We can learn from the experiences of South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana on how to tackle this ugly headed cankerworm!

  • Speaker: Franklin Ajaegbu, Programme Manager: Energy Efficiency Management, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, Nigeria.

Topic     : Energy Efficiency as an underlying solution to energy deficiencies and collection losses.

This session discussed practical energy efficiency projects such as bulb exchange, enlightenment campaigns, energy audit, School-to-School training etc. The need for power system planning, load balancing and energy audit in realizing energy efficiency was discussed.

Resolving the Legacy of on-going Debts

During the stakeholders’ talk anchored by Dolapo Kukoyi, Partner, Detail Commercial Solicitors, an update was given on the constraints from the transmission and distribution networks leading to the ugly recurrence of load rejection in the NESI. The average industry debt in 2016 was put at 50% with a tariff deficit of 460 billion USD.

In reacting to this, Mr. Azu Obiaya of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said we are in a big mess because of the lack of a cost reflective tariff as was promised DisCos prior to investing in the network business. He puts the cost reflective tariff to about eighty naira per unit as opposed to the thirty naira on average charged today. For example, the total market shortfall to August 2017 is 892 billion Naira at an average monthly shortfall of 47 billion Naira. This is because the DisCos only get about 30% of revenue collected. The market is a farce and should not have been declared. Every day is another legacy of debts for the next generation of Nigerians. The required investment to cause the change we want in the power sector will not come except we fix all the problems and issues that we have talked about in the last four years. He concluded by saying if we do nothing, we will still be talking about the same issues in the next five years.

When asked whether if a cost reflective tariff will solve the problem, Mr. Azu Obiaya did not respond but simply said investment had to be made.

Engineer Oyebanjo posited that the truth about a “cost reflective tariff” in the manner the DisCos want it will only mean lining their pockets because with the level of ATC&C losses on the network, no CRT will come to our aid.

On the issue of the current structure of the NESI, Mr Victor Udo, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Planning, Akwa Ibom State maintained that the idea of tinkering with the current structure to accommodate current realities and opportunities within the sector is a step in the right direction. Declaring the eligible customers, he says, will improve the performances of DisCos and increase the total aggregate generation capacity in the NESI. It is expected that there will be some investment in distribution system infrastructure, private sector participants will build power plants and licensed electricity traders will spring up. He stressed the need to allocate risks in the NESI and to articulate them with a view to derisking them. Such risks, he says include, the vandalization of gas pipelines, transmission network constraints, macroeconomic changes which affect the sector, regulatory uncertainties and induced changes, performance levels of DisCos to mention a few. On a positive note, the problems with the power sector present great opportunities for attracting investment according to Mr. Emeka Ofor of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Some of the latest incentives to attract investors to Nigeria include a tax holiday of 3-5 years and a pioneer status recognition.

The main questions to be answered include:

  1. Why is the NESI crawling?
  2. Why is the sector struggling since 2013?
  3. How did we get insolvency?
  4. Why don’t we have the required investment coming into Nigeria?
  5. What can be done to ensure that the DisCos meet their performance targets?
  6. What structure do we need?
  7. How will the eligible customer criterion be implemented in the NESI?
  8. Why are legacy debts recurrent?

 

 

An Overview of the Future Energy Nigeria 2017 Conference

On the just concluded Future Energy Nigeria [FEN] 2017 (Formerly WAPIC) Conference (Part 2)
The Technical Workshop
 Reducing Distribution Losses
The reduction in the aggregate technical, collection, and commercial (ATC&C) losses in the NESI is fundamental to the survival of the electricity market and therefore the realization of incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria. A systematic approach based on the output measure technique is about the only means available in the world of power systems to achieve a performance driven development of an efficient and functional electricity distribution system in the NESI.
This was a major focus in the technical workshop with Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo as the chairperson. In his opening remarks, Engineer Oyebanjo posited that an efficient, resilient, and financially healthy power sector is required for the sustainability of the NESI. With the levels of technical and non-technical losses in the power sector, the entire sector can become grounded. However, speakers at the technical workshop gave insight to well-prepared solutions that can assist with the reduction of losses on the distribution networks.
Speaker: Oladipupo Bello, Managing Director, Adroit Metering Services Limited, Nigeria
Topic : Resolving Challenges of Standard Transfer Specification (STS) in Nigeria through ‘Hosted” services.
Outline of points
1. Losses from payment systems and internal processes of DisCos largely ignored and can be significant.
2. Ghost Vending is popular in the market but NERC appears to be unaware of it or at best not doing anything to stem the tide of the ugly occurrence. This is a situation where third parties who have access to the STS codes of DisCos carry out illegal sales of tokens.
3. Robust monitoring an oversight by NERC is absent even as the illiquidity and debt profile of the NESI grow astronomically.
4. Knowledge gap in the sector is alarming and should be addressed.
5. A data driven system of processes must be implemented in NESI immediately to ensure that most information do not go unrecorded.
6. The previous NERC commissioners know a little about power systems. Too many Lawyers and “fancy bureaucrats” leading a sector as important as the power sector. Significant progress expected from the current crop of NERC commissioners with a larger proportion of engineers.
7. Corruption is the bane of the power sector as well as the larger society. Everyone everywhere looks for a way to exploit the system. The collusion of staff of electricity companies with consumers to by-pass meters, the paradox of estimated bills, entrenched poverty in the society, the believe that electricity should be a social service to be provided by the government, poor network infrastructure are some of the highlighted reasons for having up to 50% losses on the power network.
In summary, in view of the technicalities involved in resolving the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional challenges facing the DisCos, we hereby encourage the DisCos to embrace third-party applications such as the STS which is an open standard for pre-payment systems. If adopted as an industry strategy, we believe this will take the burden of responsibility from them because it is obviously more complex than they can handle.
 Speaker: Prince Olaoye Ghaffar, CEO, De Apps Technologies, Nigeria
Topic : Using technology to stop power theft by e-metering.
Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo expressed his concern over treatment of patents in Nigeria as innovative solutions for electricity theft his team has designed will require patent rights to be observed in Nigeria, otherwise, the required innovation and technological solutions will not come the way of NESI.
He also raised the following questions in the introduction to this session:
a) What are the major reasons why we have power theft?
b) What categories of persons/strata of society are grossly involved?
c) What solutions can be proposed?
d) What findings do we have from research into the methodologies used by electric utilities in other less developed countries having similar issues?

Outline of points
1. The perennial excuse of lack of affordability to pay for electricity consumed by citizens attendant to the general poverty levels in the society, sheer ignorance, impunity for theft, endemic corruption in the NESI and the wider Nigerian society, the believe that electricity should be provided as a social obligation from the government of an oil “rich” Nigeria are some of the reasons why power theft is rampant.
2. Eradicating electricity theft will align with the objectives of both PSRP and ERGP as this will boost the economy.
3. Power theft is not unique to Nigeria. Only the scale of widespread is alarming here.
In summary, electricity robbers make all consumers pay more and worsen the legacy of ongoing debts in the NESI. Unmetered customers involve in power theft but e-metering/smart metering is part of the solution.
Power theft is a global challenge, albeit to a larger scale in Sub-Sahara Africa. We can learn from the experiences of South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana on how to tackle this ugly headed cankerworm!
 Speaker: Franklin Ajaegbu, Programme Manager: Energy Efficiency Management, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, Nigeria.

Topic : Energy Efficiency as an underlying solution to energy deficiencies and collection losses.
This session discussed practical energy efficiency projects such as bulb exchange, enlightenment campaigns, energy audit, School-to-School training etc. The need for power system planning, load balancing and energy audit in realizing energy efficiency was discussed.
Resolving the Legacy of on-going Debts
During the stakeholders’ talk anchored by Dolapo Kukoyi, Partner, Detail Commercial Solicitors, an update was given on the constraints from the transmission and distribution networks leading to the ugly recurrence of load rejection in the NESI. The average industry debt in 2016 was put at 50% with a tariff deficit of 460 billion USD.
In reacting to this, Mr. Azu Obiaya of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said we are in a big mess because of the lack of a cost reflective tariff as was promised DisCos prior to investing in the network business. He puts the cost reflective tariff to about eighty naira per unit as opposed to the thirty naira on average charged today. For example, the total market shortfall to August 2017 is 892 billion Naira at an average monthly shortfall of 47 billion Naira. This is because the DisCos only get about 30% of revenue collected. The market is a farce and should not have been declared. Every day is another legacy of debts for the next generation of Nigerians. The required investment to cause the change we want in the power sector will not come except we fix all the problems and issues that we have talked about in the last four years. He concluded by saying if we do nothing, we will still be talking about the same issues in the next five years.
When asked whether if a cost reflective tariff will solve the problem, Mr. Azu Obiaya did not respond but simply said investment had to be made.
Engineer Oyebanjo posited that the truth about a “cost reflective tariff” in the manner the DisCos want it will only mean lining their pockets because with the level of ATC&C losses on the network, no CRT will come to our aid.
On the issue of the current structure of the NESI, Mr Victor Udo, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Planning, Akwa Ibom State maintained that the idea of tinkering with the current structure to accommodate current realities and opportunities within the sector is a step in the right direction. Declaring the eligible customers, he says, will improve the performances of DisCos and increase the total aggregate generation capacity in the NESI. It is expected that there will be some investment in distribution system infrastructure, private sector participants will build power plants and licensed electricity traders will spring up. He stressed the need to allocate risks in the NESI and to articulate them with a view to derisking them. Such risks, he says include, the vandalization of gas pipelines, transmission network constraints, macroeconomic changes which affect the sector, regulatory uncertainties and induced changes, performance levels of DisCos to mention a few. On a positive note, the problems with the power sector present great opportunities for attracting investment according to Mr. Emeka Ofor of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Some of the latest incentives to attract investors to Nigeria include a tax holiday of 3-5 years and a pioneer status recognition.
The main questions to be answered include:
1. Why is the NESI crawling?
2. Why is the sector struggling since 2013?
3. How did we get insolvency?
4. Why don’t we have the required investment coming into Nigeria?
5. What can be done to ensure that the DisCos meet their performance targets?
6. What structure do we need?
7. How will the eligible customer criterion be implemented in the NESI?
8. Why are legacy debts recurrent?

….completed
Engineer Idowu Oyebanjo MNSE CEng MIET UK