Nigeria, a powerful economy in Africa, faces significant energy challenges and opportunities. With its abundant human and natural resources, Nigeria has the potential to develop a diversified energy sector that can meet its own needs and supply international energy markets. The country is already witnessing the growth of its natural gas market, a budding renewable energy sector, and an opening for green fuels. With ongoing reforms in the power sector, Nigeria is on the cusp of tapping into its potential.
The country’s power sector faces significant challenges. Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people, and approximately 40% of them, around 80-90 million people, live in homes without electricity. Many others have intermittent access to electricity. Although installed power generation capacity is around 13 GW, the actual available capacity is approximately 5 GW. The lack of access to electricity is limiting Nigeria’s economic development and the potential of its people.
The country’s power sector reform is underway, but there are still problems in transmission and distribution. As electricity supply through the country’s grid is relatively scarce and unreliable, many families and businesses rely on diesel generators for backup energy supply. Similarly, many households lack access to gas or electric cooking technology, putting pressure on wood resources. These deficiencies are exacerbating the climate threat facing Nigeria and the world.
Nigeria is the largest producer and exporter of oil in Africa, accounting for much of the government’s revenues and foreign exchange earnings. The country has vast gas reserves, around 200 trillion cubic feet, that could go a long way in fueling its power sector. However, Nigeria lacks the infrastructure and refining capacity to deploy these resources as low-cost domestic energy.
Natural gas plays a significant role in Nigeria’s electricity generation. The country imports a large amount of gas for power generation and gas products such as cooking fuel. However, power plants are often idled due to a lack of fuel supply. The government is incentivizing gas pipeline development while investing in power transmission and distribution infrastructure to raise grid capacity.
Renewable power, particularly hydropower, makes an important contribution in Nigeria’s power sector. Solar PV is also playing a growing role, both utility-scale and distributed. The federal government launched the Solar Power Naija (SPN) program last year to expand energy access to 5 million rural households, through home hook-ups or connections to mini grids. While solar panels on rooftops are helpful, Nigeria needs ongoing upgrades to its power generation, transmission, and distribution capacities to power the country’s economic and industrial development at a large scale.
To address these complex challenges, Nigeria Energy 2022 will convene in Lagos from 20-22 September, bringing together leaders in Nigeria’s energy sector, advocates, investors, and other African and international energy experts. Participants will focus on key questions such as what the industry should focus on to bridge the energy access gap, what is required to propel Nigeria’s renewables market forward, how to advance the energy transition agenda to build decarbonization solutions that meet Nigeria’s needs, and what key roles digital transformation will play in the energy sector.
Nigeria Energy 2022 will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage with the highest level of decision-makers and international partners. Participants will meet key stakeholders from Nigeria’s energy sector, from government ministries and regulators to gas companies supplying fuel to grid-connected plants, independent power producers, distribution companies, and bodies mandated to facilitate the development of renewable energy and off-grid solutions.
By addressing these challenges, Nigeria Energy 2022 will provide a blueprint for Nigeria’s power sector in the coming years, opening pathways to improving access to electricity, driving economic growth, and creating jobs for Nigerians.