Expert Advocates Technology Adoption to Improve Power Sector

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Peter Uzoho
As Nigeria continues to experience failures in the power sector, the General Manager, PowerPro Company Limited, Mr. Adebayo Johnson, has stressed the need for the country to leverage on emerging technologies to solve the energy problem.

Johnson, made the call in Lagos, during his presentation at the 2019 Power Nigeria conference and exhibition organised by Informamarkets.
He said technologies such as Block chain, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning were being utilised in the power sector globally, saying it had become imperative for Nigeria to fully integrate these technologies in the nation’s energy mix.

According to him, “These are existing technologies that we are not using today, and they amount to waste of the limited supply of energy resources that we have in the grid.

“Today, we have a smart grid even at a global level, smart grid is operational, but then this is not fully operational in Nigerian grid.”
Johnson who added that digitalisation had disrupted the energy sector and that the energy value chain would further be disrupted as technology advanced, noted that digitalisation meant better outcome for the utility sector, hence, should be embraced.

“So, some of the digital technologies that we have today are machine learning, artificial intelligence. Machine learning is already making wave in the technology industry, and I tell you that this can change the landscape totally for us in the energy sector.

“With digitalisation, our physical assets, our grid assets will be gradually integrated onto a platform where we can collect data from them, where we can analyse data from them and where we can respond to the data collected from this physical platform.

“With this integration, the future energy systems will be able to intelligently manage demands from buildings, demand from vehicles, and other infrastructure and it will be able to ensure there is a seamless supply of energy to these locations,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Exhibition Manager, Industrial Group, Informamarkets, Mr. Deep Karani, urged the federal government to come with regulations tailored towards opening up the nation’s renewable energy space to attract more investors.

This, Karani noted, would solve the problem associated with pricing which he said was another major challenge in the sub-sector, leading to further heightening the energy access gap in the country.

He said: “As you all know, regulation has been the biggest challenge so far. Once that comes into play, once few things are made mandatory, it will bring good change to the system.
“First is the regulation, whether it is required or not, whether it is legal or not, whether the government promotes it or not, that is one part of it.

“Second is pricing. Today, I can give you the world’s best technology in your house but if the pricing does not meet what you are looking for you might not want to go ahead with the installation. “You might walk away. Example is solar, if you look at the cost compared to the return on investment, if it takes you 25 years to get your money back, you might not be ready to invest right now.”