With an estimated population of about 170million people and varying temperatures, the natural
and physical features within its 924,000 square kilometres, Nigeria lies within a high sunshine
belt and thus has enormous solar energy and other solar related potentials.
For example,resources in the North provide viable potentials for photovoltaic or concentrated solar use.
With its massive population, there exists in Nigeria huge volumes of organic wastes which
portend more than enough opportunities for conversion of waste to electric energy. Other
renewable prospects include wind as there are areas within Nigeria, especially in the coastal
states, with about 700 to 800km of coastline, where there are strong winds that could be utilised
in generation of power.
It is important to note that diversification of the power sector from the use of hydro, oil and coal
has been undertaken as well as increased investment in clean sources of energy such as wind
and solar energy. Despite the abundance of these resources (i.e. wind and solar), Nigeria has
been unable to fully adapt their capabilities into its national grid. Solar energy requires the use
of expensive solar panels which are prone to degradation. On the other hand, wind requires
large wind farms to harness the resource. Regardless, the major limitation in both cases is the
relatively low energy generation per capita in comparison with conventional sources of energy.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to explore other reliable forms of energy generation such as
The main benefit of nuclear technology is its ability to produce clean energy at relatively low
cost. Apart from infrastructure, the cost of operating a nuclear power plant is relatively lower
than other conventional sources. Of course, this assumption is only valid provided nuclear fuel
(Uranium) is easily accessible.
Nigeria is known to possess large deposits of Uranium in several states such as Cross River,
Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi and Kano. Therefore, it is expected that Nigeria should
begin to look towards a nuclear future on the basis of its wealth in resources and capital. With
the current spate of investments in Nigeria such as in automobiles, steel production and other
energy intensive manufacturing firms, the demand for energy will skyrocket leading to increased
supply gaps. It also becomes apparent that current stop-start attempts to bridge the gaps using
conventional sources such as gas will not mitigate the anticipated energy supply shortfall.
For a country blessed with this rare resource (Uranium) well spread across its geographical
zones, human capital both at home and abroad, financial muscle and an increasingly attractive
polity for investors, a retrospective evaluation which goes beyond the current short term energy
generation policies would be required in Nigeria. The question, therefore, is what are potential
energy investors waiting for.