By Goody Duru-Oguzie, Energy Efficiency Consultant
In the face of the current electricity supply deficiency facing Nigeria, there is indeed an overwhelming need to deploy several out of the box strategies towards closing the widening electricity supply/demand gap and to provide succour for electricity consumers.
It is therefore proposed to managers and stakeholders in the Nigerian power sector the necessity to undertake a holistic review of current strategies for increasing power availability and adopt a policy that must include promotion of energy efficiency, energy conservation, demand side management (consumer side) and energy saving for the country in addition to use of other technological tools towards increasing the quantum of distributable electricity across the country.
The above solution is proposed because, global energy research has shown improved energy efficiency to be the least cost option to augment the gap between demand and supply. This is supported by independent studies that have estimated the availability of nearly 1,200 megawatts of capacity creation through energy efficiency in the Nigerian electricity sector alone at the current grid generation capacity of about 5,000 megawatts. The same study also shows that energy conservation potential for the Nigerian economy as a whole is at about 30 per cent with maximum potential in industrial and manufacturing sectors.
In Nigeria, energy efficiency and energy conservation has never been given a rational public thought among the government (policy makers), stakeholders and the generality of electricity consumers. This is a cause for concern as it poses a serious challenge in the effort towards improving electricity availability; requiring government and stakeholders to invest in technologies for advancing increased energy efficiency (a factor in energy conservation) and in the process make consumer loads run more efficiently, reduce energy consumption, protect industrial and household electrical equipment while creating increased levels of energy sufficiency within the existing insufficiency to meet consumer demands.
Therefore, for a country struggling with insufficient electricity to distribute, energy efficiency, conservation and demand side management should have been prioritized as a major policy to drive the current “incremental power initiative” of the government. The reasoning here follows from the well-known fact that “Energy Saved is Energy Generated”.
Also, with insufficient energy, rising demand and rising energy costs, cutting the relative consumption of electricity while creating “transient sufficiency” is critical towards overcoming Nigeria’s power shortages.
Accordingly, the most effective way to conserve energy is to use it more efficiently while providing a solution that will boost the quantum of power saved for consumers in Nigeria.
For instance, an analytical review of a Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) 2007 survey report, provides a good reason why electricity consumers especially the commercial and manufacturing sectors in Nigeria should embrace the use of demand side energy saving and management technology products to enable reduction in the quantum of power demand and consumption for daily use and production activities following from the “documented study reports of energy savings achieved for AC induction motors that are frequently used by commercial enterprises and manufacturing plants”. In the manufacturing industry, AC induction motors are common devices used to convert electrical power to mechanical power.
This is because electric motors are the main motive in our daily lives; driving our industrial processes, our appliances, and our commercial buildings. There are tens of millions of motors sold per year throughout the world. Power efficiency estimates have shown that use of energy saving technology and devices saves $1.7 billion a year in the US manufacturing industry alone, equivalent to a 21 billion kWh (or 4000mw) reduction (US/DOE).
Also, in the US, 44% of motors operating in industrial facilities operate at less than 40% of full load (DOE/1998). Motor driven systems account for 65% of electricity consumed by EU industries. Implementing high efficiency systems saves Europe over 200 billion kWh of electricity per year (European Copper Institute/2004). Electric motors consume over 25% of the electricity in the U.S. (DOE/1998). Implementing the ES-25 Energy saving technology has saved over 20 billion kWh in the U.S. manufacturing sector alone, which is the equivalent of taking over 2.6 million cars off the road (DOE/1998).
ES-25 technology typically reduces energy consumption by 15-40% on appropriate applications. The Es-25 technology works on large motors, such as those found in crushers, escalators and lifts, as well as small motors, such as those found in washing machines, dish washers and dryers. Any AC induction motor that operates at a constant speed and is at times lightly loaded is a candidate for energy saving with ES-25 technology.
In like manner, the challenge of peak demand and its effect towards depleting available electricity for supply to consumers can be addressed with use of ES-25 Technology’s energy efficiency, conservation and DSM attributes to reduce consumption during peak hours for especially heavy industrial consumers. The ES-25 technology also reduces the amount of electricity used by motors on constant speed and variable load applications found in appliances of heavy users of electricity.
Sections of the MAN’s 2007 study also revealed that electric motors are responsible for peak demand of roughly a quarter of all electricity supply in Nigeria and over 45% of all electricity used by the manufacturing and commercial services sector. Therefore, the most effective way to overcome critical peaking and peak demand increase is to use electricity more efficiently. The high efficiency voltage controller built into the ES-25 technology product provides a solution that will reduce the quantum of peak demand relative to overall or average demand.
For example, escalators and lifts operate at constant speed. The motor inside the lift is powerful enough to handle a load of 113.5Kg on each step. However, this rarely happens; typically, there are only a couple of people in a lift after early morning peak hours. As a result, the motor is lightly loaded and operates inefficiently. Es-25 technology eliminates this wasted energy and typically makes lifts use 15-35% less energy.
Therefore, the massive deployment of ES-25 technology and demand-side energy management tools into the electricity supply chain in Nigeria could by conservative estimate reduce average grid electricity demand of the industry and heavy users by an equivalent of 1,500Mw. This would naturally ease the pressure on the national grid and allow the gradual implementation of new infrastructural developments in the power sector. Effectively, the 1,500Mw saved from heavy, commercial and industry users would provide additional electricity for about 2.8 million households at an average of 2,750 kWh per annum per household.
In the context of the above narratives, energy efficiency is understood to mean the utilization of energy in the most cost-effective manner to carry out a manufacturing process or provide a service, whereby energy waste is minimized and the overall consumption of primary energy resources is reduced. In a general sense, it refers to the use of lesser amount of energy to achieve the same purpose for which larger amount of energy is being expended.
The judicious use of energy resources and application of technology to reduce the negative impacts of energy use are firmly embodied in two concepts namely, energy efficiency and energy management.
Energy management refers to the strategy of adjusting and optimizing energy, using technology systems and procedures in a manner as to reduce energy requirements per unit of output while holding constant or reducing total costs of producing the output from these systems.
On the other hand, energy conservation refers to reduction in the amount of energy consumed in a process or system or by an organization or society, through economy of waste and rational use.
Whatever are the reasons for which energy efficiency, and conservation is not fully embraced in Nigeria, it is important to allay consumer fears due to misinformation and re-emphasize the truth; that energy efficiency or conservation does not mean curtailment in energy use at the expense of individual use, industrial and economic growth; rather it means effective utilization of energy resources ensuring the same level of economic and industrial activity with lesser inputs of energy.
Demand-side energy management tools refer to such devices designed specifically to drive energy demand management by modification of consumer demand for energy through various methods such as technology, behavioural change and education. It can also be referred to as the strategy of adjusting and optimizing energy, using systems and procedures in a manner as to reduce energy requirements per unit of output while holding constant or reducing total costs of producing the output from these systems.
Energy efficiency, demand-side management tools & digitization
• Energy efficiency (EE) is changing very fast with new digital technologies enabling greater control, optimization, analytics and monitoring.
• Digitalization can improve energy efficiency through technologies that gather and analyze data to effect real-world changes in energy use.
• Digital technologies expand our view of energy efficiency from end use efficiency to system efficiency
• Digitalization is set to transform the global energy system with profound impacts on both energy demand and supply.
• Digitalization technology is often built into most demand side energy management devices that are used for imposing energy efficiency and for improving power quality of existing power consumption system.
• Digitization allows alignment of energy saving devices in use with energy supply and consumption profiles in a manner as to enable heavy industrial/commercial consumers and line managers determine, audit and monitor their organization’s entire energy footprint and to inform management on energy savings recorded through reduction in operating and maintenance costs.
• Goody Duru-Oguzie, an engineer, is a multidisciplinary consultant on energy, power and the