Oil-Rich Nigeria Turns To Renewable Energy As Population Booms

Faced with a population boom that has sent carbon emissions soaring and stretched power supplies to breaking point, oil-rich Nigeria is turning to renewable energy in a big way. According to power minister  Fashola, Nigeria needs more than 10 times its current electricity output to guarantee supply for its 198 million people, nearly half of whom have no access at all. Nigeria has set a target of expanding electricity access to 75 percent of the population by 2020 and 90 percent by 2030.

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It was about time. Let's see how it goes but it could solve more than one problem and I'm thinking the impoverished communities of the Delta.

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Remember Nigeria also produces utility electricity by burning oil. Using small scale solar on-site is cheaper for that village in the middle of nowhere than mega projects and the grid it requires. Solar in the day to charge your phones, an LED light or two. Heck of an improvement over nothing, and for not much money.

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2 minutes ago, John Foote said:

Remember Nigeria also produces utility electricity by burning oil. Using small scale solar on-site is cheaper for that village in the middle of nowhere than mega projects and the grid it requires. Solar in the day to charge your phones, an LED light or two. Heck of an improvement over nothing, and for not much money.

There is more and more of this going on in remote regions of Australia. Infact Western Power often help farmers buy solar and batteries providing they disconnect form the grid. This is cheaper than maintaining the power  supply out to them. 

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On 8/25/2018 at 12:17 PM, NickW said:

There is more and more of this going on in remote regions of Australia. Infact Western Power often help farmers buy solar and batteries providing they disconnect form the grid. This is cheaper than maintaining the power  supply out to them. 

I've thought this for some times. Reminds me of cell phones in the early 80s. Then one day you wake up, and realize only old people still have land lines. I don't see that happening, but distributed power, micro-generation, that is the likely future.

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Solar power in remote locations is about the only realistic use for such power. In the wilds of Western Australia, the power authorities have to spend a lot of money setting up grids that work 24/7,  with diesel. With electronics it makes sense to set up  properly managed solar and wind farms and even get the penetration up to 40 per cent - never heard of anything much beyond 40-50 per cent for a microgrid, if anyone knows of any microgrid that has managed more then I'd be interested.

That said, similar microgrids in Nigeria would be difficult, as there is no trained personnel. Even maintaining a comparatively similar solar panel-battery network may be difficult.

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1 hour ago, markslawson said:

That said, similar microgrids in Nigeria would be difficult, as there is no trained personnel. Even maintaining a comparatively similar solar panel-battery network may be difficult.

In this case, by a micro grid I mean a remote industrial site, or self-reliant walled in neighborhood with it's own small grid. Probably should combine solar with some diesel and maybe some storage. Not a grid within a grid, also smart-grid in a developed western country. Yes, combining a high end battery/solar grid of substance is hard, but on a small scale, not so. Heck, every other house in the 'burbs has yard nights with a small solar and batteries. Not tied to anything, and far less monies than a wired set up.

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7 hours ago, markslawson said:

Solar power in remote locations is about the only realistic use for such power. In the wilds of Western Australia, the power authorities have to spend a lot of money setting up grids that work 24/7,  with diesel. With electronics it makes sense to set up  properly managed solar and wind farms and even get the penetration up to 40 per cent - never heard of anything much beyond 40-50 per cent for a microgrid, if anyone knows of any microgrid that has managed more then I'd be interested.

That said, similar microgrids in Nigeria would be difficult, as there is no trained personnel. Even maintaining a comparatively similar solar panel-battery network may be difficult.

The predominant cost driver in these locations is hauling the diesel out by truck which is very expensive so solar / wind becomes much more attractive. 

In Oz They were looking at solar to supplement the electric supply at Wadeye (Aboriginal community in NT) but the proximity of the Yelcherr - Darwin gas line meant that it was worth it to replace the aging diesel gensets with natural gas and build a spur off the pipeline. . If it hadn't been for that it would have been solar. 

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6 hours ago, John Foote said:

In this case, by a micro grid I mean a remote industrial site, or self-reliant walled in neighborhood with it's own small grid. Probably should combine solar with some diesel and maybe some storage. Not a grid within a grid, also smart-grid in a developed western country. Yes, combining a high end battery/solar grid of substance is hard, but on a small scale, not so. Heck, every other house in the 'burbs has yard nights with a small solar and batteries. Not tied to anything, and far less monies than a wired set up.

This could work in Meditteranean / sub tropical  type climate locations (Perth, Florida, Southern California, Brisbane, etc) as solar is available year round but not in Northern Europe type climates which is very summer orientated. 

I looked at Perth and basically solar production at winter solstice is approx 60% of what you get at summer solstice. Also demand is higher in summer. What you basically need is a battery set up to cover overnight and perhaps another nights reserve. 

In comparison the southern UK winter solstice is about 13% of the summer solstice with the added complication of demand being winter predominant. In this scenario you need inter-seasonal storage. The only possible way of doing this and assumming you have the right soil conditions is to  dump loads of summer heat into a vertical borehole and extract in the winter using a GSHP. 

I have seen where someone did this using multiple banks of solar vacuum tubes. Interesting project but very niche. 

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NW knows what he's talking about.

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14 hours ago, NickW said:

This could work in Meditteranean / sub tropical  type climate locations (Perth, Florida, Southern California, Brisbane, etc) as solar is available year round but not in Northern Europe type climates which is very summer orientated. 

I looked at Perth and basically solar production at winter solstice is approx 60% of what you get at summer solstice. Also demand is higher in summer. What you basically need is a battery set up to cover overnight and perhaps another nights reserve. 

In comparison the southern UK winter solstice is about 13% of the summer solstice with the added complication of demand being winter predominant. In this scenario you need inter-seasonal storage. The only possible way of doing this and assumming you have the right soil conditions is to  dump loads of summer heat into a vertical borehole and extract in the winter using a GSHP. 

I have seen where someone did this using multiple banks of solar vacuum tubes. Interesting project but very niche. 

Sure - what you say about Perth is right up to a point, and in small quantities PVs in Perth might have been of benefit. The trouble was that the government allowed them on rooftops and subsidised the excrement out of them. Now they are collectively a real problem. My understanding is that at mid-day the grid operators have trouble shutting down enough of the rest of the generating assets to balance the network. As they are on people's roofs, they can't shut down the panels either. The storage thing would  be good if you could do it in anything like the scale required - but I double whether its possible and WA is mostly too flat for pumped hydro. Pending breakthroughs in technology WA has a real problem. 

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(edited)

2 hours ago, markslawson said:

Sure - what you say about Perth is right up to a point, and in small quantities PVs in Perth might have been of benefit. The trouble was that the government allowed them on rooftops and subsidised the excrement out of them. Now they are collectively a real problem. My understanding is that at mid-day the grid operators have trouble shutting down enough of the rest of the generating assets to balance the network. As they are on people's roofs, they can't shut down the panels either. The storage thing would  be good if you could do it in anything like the scale required - but I double whether its possible and WA is mostly too flat for pumped hydro. Pending breakthroughs in technology WA has a real problem. 

A friend of mine and I (mostly his idea) worked a problem solution to his a couple of years ago for the plains of Southern Alberta. Lots of installed Wimd Power, no avenue for conventional storage (flat, arid land). 

We explored a project to drill wells (or utilize abandoned wells), install weighted pulley systems, and use Gravity as a potential energy storage device. Solved 2 problems - storage plus using some of the available talent in province. 

Everybody hated the idea because it wasn’t a sexy battery storage project (you know, the ones we aren’t sure will last 8 years and cost a fortune)

Edited by Ian Austin
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9 hours ago, Ian Austin said:

A friend of mine and I (mostly his idea) worked a problem solution to his a couple of years ago for the plains of Southern Alberta. Lots of installed Wimd Power, no avenue for conventional storage (flat, arid land). 

We explored a project to drill wells (or utilize abandoned wells), install weighted pulley systems, and use Gravity as a potential energy storage device. Solved 2 problems - storage plus using some of the available talent in province. 

Everybody hated the idea because it wasn’t a sexy battery storage project (you know, the ones we aren’t sure will last 8 years and cost a fortune)

Okay, but how much energy were you able to store and at what cost? It sounds ingenious and its good that you were able to do it, but it doesn't sound like a major energy sink. Any idea of the numbers?

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49 minutes ago, markslawson said:

Okay, but how much energy were you able to store and at what cost? It sounds ingenious and its good that you were able to do it, but it doesn't sound like a major energy sink. Any idea of the numbers?

The energy sink was/is malleable, depending on weight and depth. The analogue we used was the CARES project in Southen California: they load up trains, drag them up a hill when power is cheap, release and use dynamic braking to generate energy. Fairly efficient process, but still a net energy user (all processes are). I’d have to dig for numbers, as it was a couple of yrs ago

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12 hours ago, markslawson said:

Sure - what you say about Perth is right up to a point, and in small quantities PVs in Perth might have been of benefit. The trouble was that the government allowed them on rooftops and subsidised the excrement out of them. Now they are collectively a real problem. My understanding is that at mid-day the grid operators have trouble shutting down enough of the rest of the generating assets to balance the network. As they are on people's roofs, they can't shut down the panels either. The storage thing would  be good if you could do it in anything like the scale required - but I double whether its possible and WA is mostly too flat for pumped hydro. Pending breakthroughs in technology WA has a real problem. 

Some of the answer to the problem you describe in Perth is to increase home usage at the time the sunlight is produced to minimise actual export onto the grid

http://www.mitsubishielectric.com.au/air-to-water-hot-water-heat-pumps.html

A fairly low tech solution is one of these on a time switch - say 11am to 4pm or even better a diverter system that exports all surplus electricity to hot water before export. Using one of these (they about £200 in the UK)  the household would get a their hot water at a fraction of the cost of using mains gas.

When I was in Perth the cost of mains gas was about 12c. The value of exported electricity from PV 7 cents.

Using solar in a heat pump to heat water in the daytime the COP is probably 3ish so water heating is costing about 2.3c per kwh of heated hot water

Using Gas its 12 C plus factoring in the crappy efficiency of Australian gas water heaters its about 15C / kwh of heat

 

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Ian Austin said:

The energy sink was/is malleable, depending on weight and depth. The analogue we used was the CARES project in Southen California: they load up trains, drag them up a hill when power is cheap, release and use dynamic braking to generate energy. Fairly efficient process, but still a net energy user (all processes are). I’d have to dig for numbers, as it was a couple of yrs ago

11 hours ago, Ian Austin said:

A friend of mine and I (mostly his idea) worked a problem solution to his a couple of years ago for the plains of Southern Alberta. Lots of installed Wimd Power, no avenue for conventional storage (flat, arid land). 

We explored a project to drill wells (or utilize abandoned wells), install weighted pulley systems, and use Gravity as a potential energy storage device. Solved 2 problems - storage plus using some of the available talent in province. 

Everybody hated the idea because it wasn’t a sexy battery storage project (you know, the ones we aren’t sure will last 8 years and cost a fortune)

Wouldn't the formula be similar to hydro which is basically:

kg x metres x 9.7 x conversion efficiency of motors and generators.

So basically a 100,000kg weight on a pulley with a drop of say 300 metres. With a conversion efficiency of 80% that would store about 65 kwh.

I can't see this being viable unless your (Mo) hole has already been dug for some other reason and you can massively increase the weight on the pulley.

 

The train idea is much better . Mark says WA is flat but it has a long coastal escarpment running from Perth down to past Bunbury. Plenty of space and altitude and Iron ore to fill them trains.  

 

Edited by NickW

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14 hours ago, markslawson said:

Sure - what you say about Perth is right up to a point, and in small quantities PVs in Perth might have been of benefit. The trouble was that the government allowed them on rooftops and subsidised the excrement out of them. Now they are collectively a real problem. My understanding is that at mid-day the grid operators have trouble shutting down enough of the rest of the generating assets to balance the network. As they are on people's roofs, they can't shut down the panels either. The storage thing would  be good if you could do it in anything like the scale required - but I double whether its possible and WA is mostly too flat for pumped hydro. Pending breakthroughs in technology WA has a real problem. 

Lets take a little look at that Subsidy.

The Small Technology Certificates (STCs) that are the rebate roughly equate to the equivalent of giving the household tax relief on the GST and income tax equivalent. By doing it as a flat rate rebate rather than tax deductible this makes the scheme fair in that it benefits a basic rate taxpayer as much as a top rate payer. This is simply affording the householder similar tax relief rights for investing in energy production as a business.

The 7.1c payments for exports is hardly generous when the same utility sells the power back to other householders for 23c simultaneously!

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7 hours ago, NickW said:

Wouldn't the formula be similar to hydro which is basically:

kg x metres x 9.7 x conversion efficiency of motors and generators.

So basically a 100,000kg weight on a pulley with a drop of say 300 metres. With a conversion efficiency of 80% that would store about 65 kwh.

I can't see this being viable unless your (Mo) hole has already been dug for some other reason and you can massively increase the weight on the pulley.

 

The train idea is much better . Mark says WA is flat but it has a long coastal escarpment running from Perth down to past Bunbury. Plenty of space and altitude and Iron ore to fill them trains.  

 

Yes, but the wells much deeper - in the 2000-3000 m range. We were using 70% efficiency. 

 

Given the the cost of battery tech (which everybody exaggerates) it was unclear what was better

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56 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

Yes, but the wells much deeper - in the 2000-3000 m range. We were using 70% efficiency. 

 

Given the the cost of battery tech (which everybody exaggerates) it was unclear what was better

Ok A lot deeper but whats the bore size - 50cm? 

I suppose you could use something really heavy and dense - Lead or depleted Uranium which are 11300kg/m3 or 19100kg/m3.

A length of depleted Uranium with a diameter of 45cm and 100m long would weigh about 300 tonnes. 

Dropped 3000 metres at 70% conversion efficiency is about 1700 kwh of stored energy. Thats about 190 Tesla Power walls. 

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(edited)

55 minutes ago, NickW said:

Ok A lot deeper but whats the bore size - 50cm? 

I suppose you could use something really heavy and dense - Lead or depleted Uranium which are 11300kg/m3 or 19100kg/m3.

A length of depleted Uranium with a diameter of 45cm and 100m long would weigh about 300 tonnes. 

Dropped 3000 metres at 70% conversion efficiency is about 1700 kwh of stored energy. Thats about 190 Tesla Power walls. 

Size of last casing would be 159-222 mm Internal diameter, so diameter of bar could have been in the 150-210 mm range, depending on availability/forming etc (honestly, we got derailed before it got that far).  You’re correct, we were talking heavy stuff like Lead etc. 

I sholud have given more detail - didn’t himknit would really be as much of a discussion point as it was 

The idea (if possible) was to co-locate with each cluster of wind turbines 

Edited by Ian Austin

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9 hours ago, NickW said:

Lets take a little look at that Subsidy.

The Small Technology Certificates (STCs) that are the rebate roughly equate to the equivalent of giving the household tax relief on the GST and income tax equivalent. By doing it as a flat rate rebate rather than tax deductible this makes the scheme fair in that it benefits a basic rate taxpayer as much as a top rate payer. This is simply affording the householder similar tax relief rights for investing in energy production as a business.

The 7.1c payments for exports is hardly generous when the same utility sells the power back to other householders for 23c simultaneously!

NickW - again you simply haven't understood, or chose not to understand, the point I was  making. The Feed In Tariffs for those rooftop solar systems use to be much higher - that's when the big explosion in installations took place. Now they are lower, thankfully, but the damage has been done and shouldn't be there at all given the way the panels are messing up the system, especially as they still amount to an incentive. Now go and look at your attempt to explain away the STC benefit - the argument you are using is one for fairness and not about incentives at all. You basically couldn't think of any other way to explain it away, I guess. Anyway, leave it with you. 

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49 minutes ago, Ian Austin said:

Size of last casing would be 159-222 mm Internal diameter, so diameter of bar could have been in the 150-210 mm range, depending on availability/forming etc (honestly, we got derailed before it got that far).  You’re correct, we were talking heavy stuff like Lead etc. 

I sholud have given more detail - didn’t himknit would really be as much of a discussion point as it was 

The idea (if possible) was to co-locate with each cluster of wind turbines 

Thanks for this and the other posts. I'm sure the idea is feasible but whether it is any solution on the scale required and at a tolerable price is another question. I would go with ammonia or liquid air (both proposals in test phase) as they would be easier to scale up and would not rely on geography, but we can always pass judgement when more systems are built.

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2 minutes ago, markslawson said:

Thanks for this and the other posts. I'm sure the idea is feasible but whether it is any solution on the scale required and at a tolerable price is another question. I would go with ammonia or liquid air (both proposals in test phase) as they would be easier to scale up and would not rely on geography, but we can always pass judgement when more systems are built.

True. Our original though was that, at the time, it would be cheaper and offer more utility than both

- compressed air, and

- Battery or Super-capacitor

all of which we’re running ~ 2 MM/MW at the time

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On 5/4/2018 at 4:55 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

It was about time. Let's see how it goes but it could solve more than one problem and I'm thinking the impoverished communities of the Delta.

Hopefully militant groups like MEND and their offshoots dont burn them down!

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Unfortunately, the Nigerian Government officials are also quick to appear so grandiloquent whilst making public statement without a corresponding policy framework backed with qualitative building blocks on how best  to drive home the supposedly fixing of the perennial power issues in Nigeria. Government in and government out have consistently promised on how to revamp the near decrepit power issues in Nigeria all to no avail .Even  the present Power minister once asserted that any government  who could not fix power within six month has no business in the act of governance in Nigeria and this is well past three years and all that the vast majority of Nigerians continually get is too much noises and no qualitative inputs in terms of stable electricity supply.I make bold to state that the present Generations of Nigerians alive might never enjoy stable power supply.It appears that even the government of the days is bereft of ideas and at best playing to the gallery in terms of delivering the goods with respect to power supply .The Nigerian economy continually suffers as a result of this major driver of the economy with a heighten  Unemployment rate and extreme poverty that is the highest in the whole world. The human and the material resources in Nigeria abound yet she is laying low in the major indices like unemployement rate, misery index, access to electricity, access to loans and what have you .Nigeria needs focused and issue driven leaders who readily understands how to drive workable and sustainable economic policy framework to solving these myriad of issues that continually pervades the entire National landscape called Nigeria. I rest my case.

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