Journal of Energy in Southern Africa
On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
AKURU, Udochukwu B; OKORO, Ogbonnaya I and MADUKO, Chibuike F. Harnessing Nigeria's abundant solar energy potential using the DESERTEC model. J. energy South. Afr. [online]. 2015, vol.26, n.3, pp. 105-110. ISSN 2413-3051.
The DESERTEC project, a European Union (EU) initiative to harness solar energy by means of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) from Africa for use in Europe, shows the enormous potential that exists in alternative energy sources for the sub-region once there is political will. The Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Corporation (TREC), a network of scientists and politicians who have taken it upon themselves to solve Europe's energy problem using sun from Africa, conducted three studies which evaluated the potential of renewable energy resources in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the expected needs for water and power in EU-MENA between now and 2050 and issues relating to the construction of an electricity transmission grid connecting the EU and MENA (EU-MENA-Connection), with a formula to turn the North African desert sun into electricity and transport same to Europe. This paper harnesses the TREC fact-finding studies in order to estimate how much the same ideas can be applied in many other parts of the world, Nigeria in particular. Investigation reveals that this association exists with huge potentials for an energy-starved country like Nigeria in harnessing her abundant hot sun in the north, which could go a long way in meeting the energy needs in that part of the country and beyond. Other benefits include unlimited supplies of clean electricity, agricultural gains, and creation of new industries, new jobs and new sources of income.
Keywords : concentrated solar power; DESERTEC; Nigeria; solar energy.