Viability of Wind Energy Generation in Nigeria

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“Viability of Wind Energy Generation in Nigeria”

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Globally, it is on record that wind energy is fast becoming a growing technology in energy generation. The usual erratic and epileptic power supply in Nigeria is no longer news. This, coupled with the interest in global warming must be a great concern for all and should activate our passion to key into strong demand for wind energy generation. With the attendant advantages of absence of harmful emissions, very clean energy, a great proportion is converted into electricity. Unfortunately, Nigeria where the wind power is estimated to be high or moderate has not connected this Renewable source to the grid. It is not just enough to say that the wind turbines should be connected to the grid because there are sufficient wind speeds to drive the wind turbine, mostly, the stability, reliability and viability studies must be carried out whenever wind power is to be connected to power system to predict severe consequences on the system to which the wind generators will be applied.

This paper therefore assesses the viability of wind power sources in Nigeria and specifies the conditions to be met before this renewable energy can be of optimum utilization to all.


Wind is one of the abundant natural energy resources in Nigeria, an alternative energy source that has not been fully developed and utilized. Considering it as a promising alternative to the current inadequate power generation will go a long way to address the epileptic power supply across the country and also cater for the teeming rural dwellers. Wind energy has been significantly developed in other parts of the world and this has helped to improve their energy status. Most countries who have considered wind energy as a viable means of power generation have found out that wind energy has a decentralized mode of operation that reduces transmission and distribution failure .Apart from this, wind energy is cheap, free, available, friendly to the environment and abundantly available. This is exactly what is obtainable in Nigeria. Wind energy can be used in form of mechanical energy, as wind generator, wind power, wind converter, wind turbine and so on.

Wind as a natural phenomenon is essentially related to the movement of air masses resulting from the differential heating of the earth surface. Unfortunately the country has not realized the enormous energy generation available to us in this regard.


Location on world map

In term of location, Nigeria is situated in West Africa and within latitude 4.32?—¦ N and 14?—¦ N and longitude 2.72?—¦ E and 14.64?—¦ E with a total area of 923,768 km2. As of 2014, it has a population of 186.1 million, which made it the most densely populated country in Africa .Nigeria has become Africa’s largest economy with the 2016 GDP estimated at USD 1.1 trillion. Its economy relies heavily on crude oil and natural gas, with a global ranking of Number 10 and Number 9, respectively, in terms of the proven reserved.

Power Sector

Nigeria shows a sharp rising trend,from13,463 GWh in 1990 to 30,390 GWh in 2014 .In the 1990s, oil and coal contributed up to 20% of the electricity production, but these sources were phased out, leaving only two major sources; natural gas at 82.4% and the remaining contributed by hydro (see Figure 4) .Table 3 shows the electricity usage in various sectors in Nigeria from 1990-2014,more than half of the electricity generated in Nigeria was consumed in the residential sector, followed by commercial, public service and industrial sector.


It is an open secret that currently our energy situation is pathetic. This is so because the total installed power capacity is 12.5 GW; 85% gas, 15% hydro only with an average available capacity of 31% [2].For an estimated population of about 200million people the demand has always outweighs the supply. With an estimated demand of 31GW as at 2015 [3], the average available capacity was 4GW (less than 35% of installed). The demand is ever increasing and current fossil fuels which have been the mainstream of our economy based generations have suffered greatly due to gas shortages, obsolete equipment, and incessant attacks on pipelines by vandals amongst other identifiable constraints. The effect of global warming and climate change is happening right now – desertification of the northern part, drying of the lakes, overflow of some rivers, and encroachment of land by the ocean.

Currently, only four existing project were found in the country: a 5.0 kW/h wind power project in Sayya Gida-Gada Sokoto, 0.75 kw/h Danjawa village, 1 kW/h, hybrid wind-solar in NCCE, Benin, and finally a 10 mW wind farm under construction in Katrina state and these are grossly inadequate to cater for the ever increasing population.

The demand always outweighs the supply. E.g. with an estimated demand of 31GW as at 2015 the average available capacity was 4GW (less than 35% of installed).


Wind energy is today one of the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world .This is so partly because wind is among the cheapest renewable sources per unit of electricity produced. Analysis indicates that a network of land-based 2.5MW wind turbines could supply over 40 times current worldwide electricity consumption [2]. Day by day wind energy generation markets are continuously developing globally. In 2009, 82 countries used wind to generate energy, and 49 countries increased their installed capacity [3].

Middle East and Africa also recorded a total of 230MW of newly installed capacity with almost 90% growth rate in Morocco and 170% growth in Tunisia. Although these values are small compared with wind energy producing regions like North America, Europe and Asia, the presence of wind energy in remote locations of the world simply highlights the continued rapid growth in global demand for emissions-free wind power. A careful analysis of countries with high wind energy utilization have even gone a step further to patent their wind energy technology.


There are different types of wind power generator but the most common are called windmills, or wind turbines. These have two major distinguishing features that differentiate them from each other. The first and most recognizable is the horizontal axis windmill, which has propeller blades similar to that of an airplane. The other type of wind power generator is the vertical axis wind turbine that is generally used in residential areas and for personal production of power.


Several investigations have been carried out to assess wind energy potentials across Nigeria in order to identify areas best suited for wind farms. Previous work indicate that there [19, 4] are wind speed variations across Nigeria,[19, 4] and that the variations show [3,] that wind speeds are found to be higher in some parts of northern Nigeria compared to the other part of the country (seeFigure7).Specifically, investigation made by Ojosu and Salawu [19] reported that Sokoto state in the northern part of Nigeria has thehighestaveragewindspeedofabout5.12m/s annually.

It has been suggested by different authors [18, 22] suggested that wind potentials in Nigeria are adequate for wind power integration to the national grid. In addition, the research carried out by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN)[22]shows that it is possible to integrate wind farms at the distribution end of the national grid. Another study was reported by the African Development Bank (ADB) in 2004; to Longitude 2.72?—¦ E and 14.64?—¦ E with a total area of 923,768 km2 evaluate the wind energy potential in 14 selected states in Nigeria. The study concluded that by just considering only1% of land and a capacity factor of 30%, an annual generation more than 50 GWh could be achieved in those states, as demonstrated in Table 5.To date, there are no visible wind powers projects connected to the grid. On top of that, currently in Nigeria, there is no sound and working policy those private institutions can rely on to enhance the sector.

Energy Policy in Nigeria

Agreeably, there is a power crisis in the country and the frequent experience of scarcity of refined fossil fuels, has prompted the Nigerian government to pay attention to Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) as alternative sources of generation. In 2015, the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP) was prepared and approved. In addition, in compliance with the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP), the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) was approved in the year 2016.

The Nigerian government has already developed a policy for wind energy utilization under the National Energy Master Plan. The policy states that the country shall promote its wind power resources for integration into a balanced energy mix. No effort should be spared to harness this power at an affordable cost, especially to rural settlers. Specifically, the policy outlines the following objectives:

  1. Promoting research and development in wind energy: The government should embark on high impact energy research and development activities by setting up research institutions relating to wind power technologies.
  2. Developing and deploying skilled manpower to ensure local production of wind turbines
  3. Intensifying efforts to ensure the acquisition and development of wind maps:the government shall establish more metrological centers for a regular acquisition of data relating to wind speed characteristics.
  4. Training skilled local technicians for effective and efficient operation and maintenance of wind energy system. The government shall train experts on installations, utilization and maintenance of energy systems.
  5. Providing appropriate incentives for developers and producers of wind power systems: The Government shall provide fiscal incentives, such as suspension of import duty, tax holiday, investment grants, operational grants, etc., to encourage local production of wind energy systems.
  6. Developingextensionprogramtospeedupthegeneralapplicationofwindenergytechnology:

The government shall conduct public enlightenment through workshops, seminars and lectures. The government shall also design and sponsor any publicity through print and electronic media.

Nigeria has already developed RE policy (wind energy inclusive). The ECN through the SERC has been empowered by the Nigerian government to carry out research and development related to wind energy. Several issues hinder the development of wind energy in Nigeria. These include inadequate funding for wind projects; lack of sufficient budget for research; specialized training of technical personnel is required; the current development is insignificant; and the lack of technical knowledge discourages the private sector from investing in new projects [23].


Based on the wind data information from 1951 to 1960 and from twelve meteorological stations, Fagbenle et al., (1980) reported that average wind speed across Nigeria is about 3 m/s .Also, they concluded that speeds of wind are generally higher in the northern part of the country than the southern part with the highest wind speed of about 3.6 m/s recorded in the Jos area. In addition, a third degree polynomial expression for power density (W/m2) formula for Nigeria was developed as a function of average wind speed across these meteorological stations: where P is the power (W), A is the rotor swept area (m2) and U is the average wind speed (m/s). Ojosu and Salawu (1990a) reported wind speed data from 1951-1975 from 22 stations across the country and they concluded that Sokoto area (in northern part) have highest wind speed of about 5.12 m/s in June and annual average of 3.92 m/s.

Furthermore, they reported wind speed of about 2 m/s or less in the middle and southern areas. Further study by these authors (1990b) that was b classified wind speeds across Nigeria into four different regimes: 1.0-2.0 m/s (e.g. Oshogbo, Minna and Yola), 2.1- 3.0 m/s (e.g. Lagos, Makurdi and Port Harcourt), 3.1-4.0 m/s (e.g. Enugu, Kano, Maiduguri) and > 4.1 m/s (e.g. Jos, Nguru, Sokoto). These wind regimes are shown in Figure1. In general, the findings of Ojosu and Salawu (1990a, b) are similar to that of Fagbenle et al., (1980) used on another set of wind speed data (1968-1983).

Therefore in regions with a high average wind speeds, the total costs of wind power generation are significantly less.75-80% of these costs are upfront costs of physical capital and installation [6]. The remaining costs are dispersed over the life of the wind power system and are comprised of operating, maintenance, and insurances costs [16]. Although the wind power generation is financially competitive with grid extension and diesel generators in most regions, the costs are declining. One paper estimates the effects of the experience curve in Nigeria to reduce the costs of windpower between 9% and 17% every time the installed capacity doubles.

Cost Projection: larger systems range from 4 to 8 kilowatts with towers up to 100 feet tall. These will generally produce enough electricity to completely satisfy the needs of most homes with average energy efficiency [6]. This may cost between 22000 to 50000 dollars [6]. A 10 kilowatt system may go for 80000 to 120000 dollars []. This is a very substantial wind turbine system requiring a 90- to 120-foot tower [6, 16].


This term paper has succinctly evaluated the viability of wind renewable energy.Several data have established the dependent of wind energy on the average wind speed obtainable in a particular environment where it is to be used. The economic viability of such is solely dependent on the consistency and characteristics of the wind speed as shown in different works and data.

In view of the enormous amount of money that has gone than the drain in fixing our power sector with little or nothing to show for it, it is high time to massively deploy the nation’s attention and resources to wind energy generation as a viable alternative and complementing source of electricity across the country. Erratic supply of electricity in Nigeria and the near non-existence of power supply in the rural centers could be tackled headlong if the government and all stake holders will consider the viability of wind energy. Our population is a pointer for the need to launch out into annexing the gift of nature like other nations of the world to solve the energy problems and improve power generation. For this reason, renewable energy source like wind cannot be neglected and as such, wind turbine technology should be enhanced.

The country urgently needs to maximize the energy mix, mixing the available renewable energy with the non-renewable fossil fuel. This can be done by developing capacities and infrastructural facilities for harvesting wind energy for power generation from sites within regions with high wind capacity to drive turbines for electricity generation across the rural areas and throughout the breathe and length of our great country, Nigeria.

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Viability of wind energy generation in Nigeria. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from

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