The national electricity grid peaked at 4,987 megawatts (MW) last Friday, showing improvement in generation. But capacity constraints in the power sector have persisted, limiting the attainment of expected national demand of over 20,000MW.
A daily power generation report by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Sunday shows the highest power generated on Friday was 4,987MW while the lowest was at 3,874MW.
The Independent System Operation (ISO) arm of TCN wheeled 102,376 megawatt hour (MWH) of the generation to the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) for delivery to the end users.
A tempo of 4,222MW peak generation was sustained on Saturday being the second day of February, the data showed.
However, it was not clear if the quantum lasted all through the day to adequately create an impact on customers’ demand.
Observations of the one-month electricity generation data posted by TCN indicates that for the most part of the day, power generation falls to an average of the peak generation when scheduled power loads are in high demands nationwide.
A worrisome trend in the sector is that the national peak demand forecast of power consumption as reflected by the ISO is far more than the current power generation.
There is expected 23,960MW of electricity demand to meet the nation’s need. But our analysis shows that the 4,900MW generation on Friday is less than a quarter of the current demand forecast.
At present, the country has 12,910MW installed power generation capacity: out of this figure, 7,652MW stands for the highest generation capacity that can be called into operation at any given period from the 24 active power Generation Companies (GenCos).
The data shows that there is a slightly higher capability to wheel the generated power as TCN’s transmission wheeling capacity is at 8,100MW as at November 2018, growing from the 7,000MW recorded in December 2017.
Although the highest power generation ever reached in Nigeria is 5,222MW in December 2017 with a maximum energy transmission of 109,372MWH, the DisCos’ capability to take generated and transmitted electricity is still constrained to 5,500MW, the records indicate.
This means that Nigeria cannot still distribute about 2,100MW of electricity given that the GenCos do not grapple with gas supply constraints, TCN has no transmission line constraint and the DisCos stop rejecting energy within its 5,500MW capacity threshold.