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The Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria (CREN) was born in November 2004 out of the spirit of...

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THE ENERGY TO BUILD A RENEWABLE NIGERIA

As the largest oil exporting country in Africa, Nigeria illustrates the impact the world’s dependence on fossil fuels currently has on society. Despite over $10 Billion annual revenues in oil exports, the majority of Nigerians live in absolute poverty, unable to afford any type of fossil fuels themselves and without any access to the grid. The grid itself is intermittent and unstable. Oil producing regions are rife with civil conflict and environmental devastation. Gas flares burning for decades, wasting valuable natural resources make Nigeria the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Africa.

This moment marks an extraordinary opportunity for change in Nigeria. The government is embarking on a plan to increase electrical generation capacity and extend the grid to 85% of the Nigerian population. The Energy Commission has developed a Renewable Energy Master Plan. Renewable energy demonstration projects have developed capable and experienced renewable energy experts. Organizations and businesses alike have been gaining experience and building competency in renewable energy implementation.

We at CREN believe this is the time for government, private, financial and the civil sector to work together to bring about a clean, stable, ‘renewable’ Nigeria.

RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

Renewable energy - what is it and why is it important?

Renewable energy is simple enough: the electricity we need every day, created by sources which are naturally replenished. There is no strict definition of what renewable energy is and debate rages about which sources can produce renewable energy.

Indisputable types of renewable energy include: wind, hydro and solar. All these things occur naturally without man-made intervention (although in the case of hydropower, we might tinker with river systems to get the most out of them). These renewable energy technologies have been used for many years; hydropower has generated renewable electricity since the 1800s (after all, it’s not a great leap from traditional waterwheels to electric dynamos).

Other, less common, forms of renewable energy include biomass, biofuel and anaerobic digestion. Some suggest that these forms of renewable energy supply are not strictly renewable: we require animal waste for anaerobic digestion and artificial forest plantations for biomass. Nonetheless, to meet our high electricity demands, these sources of renewable energy are preferable to non-renewable energy, also known as ‘brown’ energy.

Below you will find brief descriptions of the various types of renewable energy technology around with links to further information.


Biofuel renewable energy

Biofuel renewable energy is similar to biomass in that it revolves around organic matter. Crops, such as sugar beet, soya or oilseed rape, are grown and burned (also anaerobically) to produce a liquid, gas or solid fuel source.

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Anaerobic digestion renewable energy

Anaerobic digestion renewable energy produces electricity through the decomposition of organic matter in silos, with the addition of microorganisms and in the absence of oxygen.

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Wind renewable energy

Wind renewable energy uses large blades to spin a dynamo inside the turbine. Many countries have access to wind, although supply is intermittent.

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Geothermal energy

Not all renewable energy resources come from the sun. Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal heat for a variety of uses, including electric power production, and the heating and cooling of buildings.

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Biomass renewable energy

Biomass renewable energy can be generated in a number of ways but it is derived ultimately from plant matter.

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Ocean renewable energy

The energy of the ocean's tides come from the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun upon the Earth. In fact, ocean energy comes from a number of sources.

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Solar renewable energy

Solar renewable energy, also known as photovoltaic renewable energy, harnesses the power of the sun to produce electricity. Solar cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity through semiconductors.

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Hydropower renewable energy

Hydropower renewable energy is electricity generated by the passage of water through a turbine, which causes a dynamo to spin. Hydropower is one of the greatest renewable energy sources on Earth, currently accounting for 20% of the world’s electricity and 90% of all renewable output.

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Hydrogen

This can be found in many organic compounds, as well as water. It's the most abundant element on the Earth.

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